Tag Archives: summer

National Bake and Decorate Month

National Bake and Decorate Month

It’s National Bake and Decorate Month, and with these lightened-up recipes, you don’t have to ruin your healthy eating to participate.

First up is a gorgeous Banana, Almond & Chocolate Cake that will satisfy your chocolate fix.

Banana, Almond & Chocolate Cake
Image and Recipe via Green Kitchen Stories

 

These gluten-free Cherry Pie Bars are the perfect summer treat and easier to share than a whole pie.

Cherry Pie Bars

 

 

Raspberry-Currant Yogurt Crumble Cake is a perfect afternoon snack for your sweet tooth.

Raspberry-Currant Yogurt Crumble Cake
Image and Recipe via Dolly and Oatmeal

 

This Lemon Curd Tart with Blackberries is also low-carb if you’re cutting back.

Lemon Curd Tart with Blackberries
Image and Recipe via My PCOS Kitchen

 

This Carrot Cake uses Greek yogurt in place of butter for a lighter take on the classic.

Healthy Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Cake

 

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt are an elevated take on your favorite.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt

 

Make this beautiful Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel and Coconut Cream to impress.

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel and Coconut Cream
Image and Recipe via The First Mess

Remember September

Long View: Remember September

Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh-so-mellow.

Many of you may remember this Andy Williams song from years ago. For me, it rekindled some fond memories of a younger time. Did you read the lyrics, or sing them (as I did)?

September is a time when we welcome autumn and say so long to summer. Living in the Midwest for most of my life, I love the change of seasons, especially this one! The shades of nature are a mixture of both summer and fall.

It’s a fun time in fashion when colors start to pop as wardrobes transition. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear plum opaque tights with a pastel-colored summer frock, a cozy navy sweatshirt with those favorite khaki shorts, or even a pair of gray light wool pants with some snazzy, strappy sandals! (Is white OK after Labor Day these days?)

One of the most prominent colors of the season that you will see displayed this month is purple. Did you know that purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement?

September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and here at Health Alliance, we participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in many of our communities throughout Illinois. These wonderful walks are intended to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds for care, support, and research. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that progressively and slowly destroys a person’s memory and mental skills to the point of not being able to carry out the simplest task.

Finding a cure for this disease is the focus of Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and developing prevention along with treatment is part of the process. Check out the dates and towns for the 2018 walks near you. It’s a nationwide annual event, with more than 600 communities across the United States participating.

There are many way to help, even if you don’t want to walk. Take your first step and go the official website at Act.ALZ.org/Walk.

Here are some of the 2018 local walks where you may spot Health Alliance:

  • Champaign – September 22
  • Decatur – October 6
  • Mattoon – September 29
  • Bloomington/Normal – September 15
  • Peoria – October 13
  • Rockford – September 15
  • Springfield – September 22

Come up with your own transitional outfit to wear (maybe add a splash of purple,) and hope to see you at a walk!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

Enjoying the Present

Covered Bridge: Waiting for Fall and Enjoying the Present

It’s finally September, which means kids are officially back to school and a return to the routines of a new school year. I often find myself mildly enjoying September. The weather starts to cool, and winter time is right around the corner. But I often want to rush through September to get to October, which is the month I really love.

I love the fall, and the entire month of October is one of my favorite times of year. I love the crispness in the air. I love the changing colors in nature. I love going to the orchards with my family, getting a fresh, hot pumpkin donut, and maybe even taking a hay ride. I love carving pumpkins with my kids. I also love the flavors of fall.

I pretty much love anything and everything fall.

But as I was reflecting to write this piece, a thought came to my mind: enjoy where you’re at. This caused me to pause for a few minutes and to really reflect on what that means. I want to rush to the fall, but maybe I need to enjoy the end of summer.

Maybe I need to take my kids to the local fruit stand and get the end-of-summer harvest of peaches, apples, or watermelon before fall starts and we don’t have that option. Maybe I need to plan a summer picnic or outdoor activity before it gets too cold outside to really be comfortable in the evening. Maybe we need to take one last camping trip or go fishing. Maybe I need to actually enjoy the season or time that I’m in instead of wanting it to be another one.

I think so often we are rushing or waiting for the next event or milestone (or season, for me), that we don’t enjoy where we’re at right now. We are just rushing, trying to get through, and I don’t know if that’s really the best thing to do.

For me, I need to slow down and enjoy the month at hand, and not wish I were in another month, time, or place. Now, I’m actually excited that September is here, that summer is still here, and that I can still take in all the goodness of the summer’s ending with the ones that I love.

And I can still be excited for the coming of fall.

Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.

National Sweet Corn Week

National Sweet Corn Week

It’s National Sweet Corn Week, and it’s the perfect time to cook up healthy sweet corn recipes with the Midwest classic.

First up is a hearty take on your summer favorites, Grilled Peach & Sweet Corn Summer Grain Bowls.

Grilled Peach & Sweet Corn Summer Grain Bowls

 

This Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Corn, and Burrata makes for the perfect summer salad.

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Corn, and Burrata
Image and Recipe via Simply Recipes

 

Whip up a perfect seafood dinner with this easy Trout with Sweet Corn Sauce.

Trout with Sweet Corn Sauce
Image and Recipe via Sunset

 

Sneak in veggies for pasta night with light Zoodles with Creamy Corn Sauce.

Next Level Zoodles with Creamy Corn Sauce

 

Looking for a simple summer lunch? Look no further than Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella.

Sweet Corn & Arugula Panzanella

 

These Scallops with Grilled Sweet Corn Salad make a light but impressive meal.

Scallops with Grilled Sweet Corn Salad
Image and Recipe via Leite’s Culinaria

 

Get a hearty dish out of your summer corn with this Baked Sweet Corn Farro Risotto.

Baked Sweet Corn Farro Risotto

Rye Month

Rye Month

It’s Rye Month, and if you’ve never played with the classic whole grain, we can help you get started with healthy rye recipes.

Make the classic at home with this recipe for Spelt & Rye Sourdough Bread.

Spelt & Rye Sourdough Bread
Image and Recipe via In the Mood for Food

 

These Healthy Cherry Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks are made with whole grain rye flour.

Healthy Cherry Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks
Image and Recipe Hey Nutrition Lady

 

Don’t skip the bread with this Steak and Rye Panzanella salad.

Steak and Rye Panzanella
Image and Recipe Woman’s Day

 

Impress guests with a fancy cheese platter and homemade Crispy Rye Crackers with Seeds.

https://jernejkitchen.com/recipes/bread-and-doughs/crackers-seeds
Image and Recipe Jerne J Kitchen

 

Lighten up your family’s favorite comfort food with Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Rye Crumbs.

Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Rye Crumbs
Image and Recipe Healthy Food Guide

 

Salmon Tartare & Avocado on Rye is the perfect light and easy meal for warm summer nights.

Salmon Tartare & Avocado on Rye
Image and Recipe House & Garden

 

Whip up a healthy Dark Chocolate Chip & Rye Banana Bread for the perfect weekend brunch.

Dark chocolate chip & rye banana bread

Exercise with Your Child Week

Exercise with Your Child Week

It’s Exercise with Your Child Week, and we can help your family get moving all week.

How much exercise do your kids really need at different ages? 

How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?

 

If you’re trying to squeeze in a quick workout with your kids, here are 10 exercises you can all do together.

How to Exercise At Home with Kids

 

Dad can make playing with the kids a workout with these exercises from Men’s Health.

Playing as a Workout

 

Balance time spent on sedentary play, like reading books and playing with toys, with play that requires physical activity, like tag, hide and seek, and hopscotch.

Make Time for Active Play

 

Set aside daily time for active movement together, maybe it’s swimming at the pool in the summer, walking the dog, or playing catch.

Daily Time for Movement

 

Instead of going to the movies, pick family activities that get you moving, like bowling, mini golf, or laser tag.

Get Moving for Family Night

 

Have weekly sports nights where you use a set of exercise cards, play lawn games (like shuffleboard, bags, or badminton), or even get moving with physically active video games.

Competition with the Family

National Goat Cheese Month

National Goat Cheese Month

It’s National Goat Cheese Month, and a little goes a long way in these satisfying, healthy goat cheese recipes.

First up is an Avocado, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Toast that’s great for breakfast or lunch.

Avocado, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Toast

 

This pretty pinwheel Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula will impress guests:

Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Image and Recipe via Simply Recipes

 

Whip up gorgeous Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese Pasta for a light summer pasta dish.

Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese Pasta

Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese Pasta.

 

Lighten up lunch by going meatless with an Avocado, Cucumber, Goat Cheese Sandwich.

Avocado, Cucumber, Goat Cheese Sandwich
Image and Recipe via EatGood4Life

 

This beautiful Sopressa Pizza with Pesto and Goat Cheese is better than your Friday night takeout. 

Sopressa Pizza with Pesto and Goat Cheese
Image and Recipe via Naturally Nutritious

 

Beautiful Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts is the perfect summer side.

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts
Image and Recipe via The Cook’s Pyjamas

 

Impress your loved one with this rich Date Night Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese.

Date Night Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese