June is an exciting month that marks the beginning of summer, and what better way to kick off the season than with a new issue of Start Healthy? This issue is full of must-read tips to inspire your travels, organize your workouts, and simplify your recipes.
Calling all campers! Before you hit the road, review the enclosed packing list so you can feel prepared for an easy setup and stay at your campsite.
Whether you’re cooking over a bonfire or on a grill, the flavor-packed foil-packet recipes inside are a must-try. All you have to do is place the ingredients onto tin foil, seal, and roast! There’s practically no cleanup, which means you can eat and go back to spending time with loved ones.
Summer is a great time to relax, but don’t forget to stay on top of your fitness routine. The article about mini home gyms can help you create the ultimate workout space you can fit anywhere—your sunroom, garage, or even your backyard.
When you get in bed after a long day of fun in the sun, the last thing you want is to feel sweaty and overheated. Check out the list of helpful products and strategies to create a comfortably cool sleeping environment.
Here's wishing you a safe and exciting start to summer! As always, it’s a pleasure to send you this magazine.
There are few summer activities quite as exciting as camping. Packing up your car, hitting the open road, and spending a few days in the great outdoors is a quintessential American vacation. While it may be more rugged than spending a week at a hotel or resort, camping doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these tips to simplify your adventure, and don’t forget to download the handy packing list so you’ll have everything you need during your trip.
Preparation is key when you’re planning your family’s camping excursion, and that starts with packing all the essentials you might not have easy access to. An excellent way to stay organized is to store your gear in clear plastic bins and label your containers. This will keep your supplies protected from wildlife and the elements and make it easy to know what is in each bin. You should also pack your car the day before you leave so you don’t have to rush. This extra packing time will allow you to adjust how items fit in your vehicle while limiting family members from adding last-minute items.
Remember to pack smart! Use these suggestions to make sure you have everything you need for your camping experience:
From s’mores to hotdogs, cooking meals over a crackling fire is one of the best parts of the camping experience. Plan the meals you’ll make before leaving home so you can prep for easy cooking, save space, and limit yourself to only the essential cookware.
When you’re packing your cooler, replace ice with frozen water jugs. This way, you’ll have cold, refreshing water to drink as the jugs begin to melt. Also, try to use the most perishable foods at the beginning of your trip so they don’t spoil before you can eat them. Don’t forget to pack a mess kit for each camper with their own reusable eating utensils, plates, and cups.
Your campsite is a blank canvas, so be sure to arrange it in a way that will help your vacation run smoothly. When choosing where to set up camp, avoid tree roots and clear the ground that will be directly under your tent—this will help you avoid tripping over roots or damaging your tent. You should also pick a spot with plenty of tree cover to protect you from the sun and elements. If you’re making the trip with young campers, have a list of chores they can work on while you’re setting up your campsite. Tasks such as putting together simple furniture or collecting firewood will make them feel involved and keep them busy (and out of your hair).
Be sure to set up your campfire fifteen feet away from tents, shrubs, trees, logs, or other flammable objects. Choose a spot with dry, bare dirt, or clear a ten-foot radius of leaves and brush. Don’t forget to look for low-hanging branches.
Use these helpful hacks to make your campsite your home away from home:
Never assume pitching your tent will be easy. Practice assembling your tent in your backyard beforehand to ensure everything is in working order and familiarize yourself with the process. You never know what you might encounter. Setbacks such as traffic snafus, unexpected rain, or simply arriving late can make putting up your tent a stressful experience. Bring a doormat so you can avoid tracking mud or dirt into your tent.
With just a little prep work, the most challenging part of your family’s camping trip will be deciding what songs to sing around the campfire.
Camping Essentials Packing List
A successful camping trip starts before you even leave your driveway. By packing everything your family needs, you can focus on creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re cooking on the grill or want to make cleanup a bit easier, aluminum foil should be in your kitchen arsenal. The recipes below have the perfect combination of flavors for summer, pack a punch of protein and veggies, and will simplify the process of making dinner so you can spend more time enjoying it.
Keep things strictly plant-based with this delicious and nutritious dinner.
Salmon and citrus go hand in hand in this foil packet meal.
You’re sure to get your fill with this hearty blend of meat and vegetables.
This all-veggie foil packet meal is perfect for a Meatless Monday or anytime you want to get your daily dose of delicious vegetables.
Makes 1 foil packet
Salmon and veggies make for a fantastic dinner. Salmon is full of protein and healthy fats, and it pairs perfectly with citrus flavors. This foil packet version makes it so easy!
Makes 1 foil packet
This recipe proves that you can make a nutritious and filling meal out of very few ingredients, with very little prep time, and have it ready to enjoy in less than fifteen minutes! Talk about the perfect dinner.
Makes 1 foil packet
Getting in shape can be complicated, but creating a workout area in your home doesn’t have to be. You don’t need a lot of equipment or space to create a mini home gym to meet your fitness goals.
When organizing expert Lela Burris, owner of the blog Organized-ish, wanted to create a mini gym in her home, she converted her sunroom into a customized fitness area. The sunroom is small, but it’s still big enough to exercise and store fitness gear. “A workout area at home doesn’t have to be a full room,” she explains. “All you need is space to move your arms and legs freely without obstruction.”
A big plus to having a home gym is that it can remove some of the barriers you may face in terms of your fitness goals. YouTuber and Shoestring Martha blogger Kori Adkins notes that proximity to her home gym makes all the difference. “Because it’s right outside my back door, most of the excuses go out the window. It’s a pleasure to spend time in that space, which makes working out more of a joy than a burden.”
If you’re thinking about creating your own mini gym at home, follow this guide to get started.
When Burris created her gym, she first measured and tried out the space to confirm that the room would fit her needs. “The best way to test a space is to mimic your normal routine,” she says. “If you can move comfortably and nothing is in your way, you know that it can be converted into your own mini home gym.”
She wanted to put some larger items in the room, such as an elliptical trainer and a rowing machine, but made sure they would fit before proceeding. She also added storage by hanging a sturdy steel pegboard on one wall. “I can store all my smaller equipment, yoga mats, gloves, and cleaning supplies on there without taking up any floor space,” she says. You might want to add some design elements to your space too. Burris painted her walls pink to relax and inspire her.
Bulky exercise equipment, such as a treadmill or a stationary bike, can provide a good workout but aren’t a necessity. For example, much of the workout gear that YouTuber and personal trainer Mya Sensei owns is small and can be stored anywhere. Plus, much of it is used. “Buy secondhand,” she suggests. “People have equipment they don’t use that collects dust.”
Smaller items you can stock your workout space with include
If you prefer to use larger exercise equipment, such as an elliptical machine or a treadmill, there are ways to fit them in a small space. For instance, Sarah Birch, a professor who lives in the Bronx, New York, recently bought a used Concept2 Indoor Rower online. “I wanted a rowing machine that I could store in my small city apartment,” she says. The rower is slim, doesn’t take up much room, and cost a lot less than a new one. You can also get equipment with space-saving features, such as treadmills and stationary bicycles, that can be folded up when not in use.
Don’t worry if you can’t set aside an entire room for your exercise space. You can squeeze a fitness area into a corner of a room, in a garage, or even outdoors if the space is suitable for your fitness needs. For instance, Adkins converted her covered patio in Phoenix, Arizona, into a mini gym by rolling out rubber flooring, enclosing the patio with DIY wood-slat walls and a barn door, and adding equipment, including weights, a weight bench, and a treadmill.
With just a few square feet and some gear, you can improve your fitness in the mini home gym of your dreams.
If you’re someone who gets hot and sweaty while you sleep, even with the air-conditioning on, then you know how difficult a good night’s rest can be during the summer. Humans can achieve deeper and more restful sleep if they maintain a cooler body temperature at night. Thankfully, there are easy and effective ways you can maintain that cool side of the pillow feeling to reap the benefits of a deeper, more comfortable sleep.
Before you shut your eyes, try incorporating the following steps into your nightly routine.
Wear cotton pajamas
It goes without saying, but wearing a wool onesie to bed in the summer isn’t the best way to stay cool. When you’re picking pajamas, you should opt for loose-fitting cotton materials that allow airflow instead of trapping your body heat—think oversized t-shirts and cotton running shorts.
Cool your pulse points
Freeze a damp hand towel a few hours before bed, and keep it in a plastic bin or on top of a dry towel near your nightstand. Before bed, press it on your neck, wrists, inner ankles, and the tops of your feet where blood vessels are close to the skin’s surface. By exposing these pulse points to a cool compress, you can help regulate and lower your body temperature quickly.
Moisturize with aloe
Bad sunburns call for a generous amount of aloe, but you don’t have to be sunburned to use it! Aloe vera has several skin benefits alongside its cooling properties. Keep a bottle of aloe lotion near your bed, and moisturize before you lie down. You should feel an immediate cooling sensation anywhere you’ve applied it, especially if you’re running a fan.
Sleep in a different position
Everyone has a tried-and-true sleeping position, but for a cooling effect, you should try a starfish or mummy position. Lay on your back, and spread your feet about hip-width apart with your arms at your side or resting gently on your abdomen. Since mattresses absorb body heat, keep your hottest points, such as your stomach, forehead, and underarms, from touching the mattress. Avoid positions that put your extremities close to you, such as the fetal position.
You don’t necessarily need a new AC unit to create a cool bedroom. Try these easy methods for staying sweat free.
Change your fan’s direction
Pay attention to which direction your ceiling fan blades turn. Your fan’s blades should be turning counterclockwise to lift hot air and force cool air down. To change the direction of your fan, push down on the direction switch on the side of the motor housing.
Use cross ventilation in your room
If you’ve ever had a window and door open in the same room, you’ve probably seen the power of cross ventilation in action. By opening opening entry and exit points for a breeze, air can move faster, creating a cooling effect in the room. Just be sure to use a doorstop to avoid a slamming door in the middle of the night.
An easy way to stay cool is to use a mattress and bedding with cooling features. From mattress toppers to pillows, there’s a product on the market for any preference and budget.
Cooling mattress pads
There are specific types of mattress toppers that allow you to control the temperature of your mattress. Look for one that has a wide temperature range, a cooling-unit box that can fit under your bedframe, and a control system you can use through a mobile app. This topper from Chilisleep has great reviews!
Many brands claim that their pillows stay cold all night, but in reality they only stay cool for a few minutes. Look for pillows with actual cooling technology, such as Outlast, a thermodynamic technology developed by NASA that’s used as a coolant in consumer goods. Additionally, look for easy-to-clean pillows you can machine wash without compromising their cooling abilities. The Slumber Cloud UltraCool Pillow has been lauded by experts for its excellent temperature regulation.