10 Easy Summer-Friendly Snacks

Summer is near! That means there so will be tons of pool parties, beach days, and outdoor fun ahead. Many people ask what kind of snacks they can keep on hand for summer, and today I will share 10 snack ideas to keep you and your family fueled for summer fun!

summer snacks healthy

  1. Watermelon Chunks

One of the things I look forward to most during the summer season! Watermelon is a great item to bring to a party or cook-out, and easily transported. You can cut it up ahead of time or simply take the whole watermelon and a knife to the party and eat on the spot.

summer snacks healthy

Got a bunch of leftovers? Pop those babies in the freezer for a cool, refreshing “pop-sickle”. 🙂

    2. Berry Salad

Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries–they all make their appearance known this time of the year, and oftentimes go on sale at the grocery store! Wash all your fruit (and slice strawberries if desired) and add to a big bowl. Another great option to take to the beach or pool party because it does not require refrigeration and will taste super refreshing!

black berries served beside strawberry on clear glass bowl
Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

You could even use a skewer and alternate berries for something a little extra fun for the kids. It’ll be colorful and pretty, too!

    3. Apple Nachos

I know apples are not in season, but apples are one of those fruits that are available all year long in most US stores…what better way to celebrate a family fun day than with apple nachos?

summer snacks healthy

One of my favorite snack recipes found here–go check it out! I guarantee you’re kids will love it! If you have any peanut allergies–feel free to use almond, cashew, or soy butter.

   4. Homemade Trail Mix

Easy, portable, flavorful, and a complete snack! You can really add whatever you want in this trail mix, but here are some of my favorite options: almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries/raisins, dried mango/pineapple, pretzels, etc.

There are endless options and various combinations that can be made here based on your family’s preferences. This is another great on-the-go, outdoor-safe snack!

   5. Fruit Pops

There are several 100% fruit juice pops you can buy in the store for convenience, but it would be so easy to make these at home, too! All you need is a pop-sickle mold container, freezer space, and a really good fruit mixture!

summer snacks healthy

Pinterest has several great recipes, or you can create one yourself! Basically blend up your favorite fruit combo (you can add veggies, too!), nut butter if desired, and some milk or yogurt for creaminess then add to your pop-sickle mold. Freeze for at least 4 hours to make sure pop-sickles are frozen all the way through. Enjoy on a hot day by the pool!

Check out my banana pop recipe here for more inspiration 🙂

   6. Smoothies/Smoothie Bowls

One of my favorite things to eat all.year.long but especially in the hot summer months. Linked down below is one of my favorite smoothie recipes, and I have several on my instagram page, too 🙂 @mindful.eating.dietitian

summer snacks healthy

Green Smoothie Bowl

   7. Veggie Sticks with Dip

Fresh cut veggies either from your garden or the Farmers market screams summertime! Carrots, celery,  broccoli, cucumber, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes…so many to choose from! I’m looking forward to fresh garden veggies this year.

summer snacks healthy

I love to pair my veggies with a fun dip like homemade Greek yogurt ranch, hummus, tzaziki sauce, yogurt-dill dip, or a simple vinaigrette. Great way to get those micronutrients in!

   8. Greek Yogurt Parfait

These can even be made ahead of time if you know you’re gonna be on the road all day, need some quick on the go meal ideas, or are just hungry and need something quick! Be sure to keep this snack cooled either in a refrigerator or cooler for food safety!

summer snacks healthy

Here is my favorite parfait recipe idea topped with homemade granola. Top with fresh berries or other seasonal fruit you love!

    9. Fresh Pico de Gallo

Using all your fresh herbs, tomatoes, and jalepenos from the garden, the only other ingredient you need is lime/lemon juice! Crowd favorite, too! See my recipe here.

summer snacks healthy

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies for a refreshing, nourishing snack.

  10. Protein Energy Bites

A year-round staple at my house, but its something you can make ahead of time, non perishable, and nutritious! Check out the full recipe here. 

summer snacks healthy

You could even transform those energy bites into granola bars–recipe found here. 

summer snacks healthy

 

What is your family’s go-to summer snack? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

If you’d like to subscribe to my Newsletter to help you on you mindful eating journey, click here.

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @mindful.eating.dietitian
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

10 Minute Ab Workout

We all have fitness goals–and building a strong core is one of mine.

Below you will find a demonstration of 5 different ab workouts with modifications. See instructions for workout below:

**Go your own pace, take breaks when you need it, and feel free to do the modification step.  Even if you’re just starting out, the modifications STILL engage the core and you can still achieve results.

Complete 2 rounds of each exercise for 1 minute each–resulting in a 10 minute workout. Try to complete ab workouts 3-4 times a week for maximum results!

  1. PLANK:

    • Engage the core and try to keep a straight line form (hips are not hanging toward the ground, butt is not up in the air). You may complete these with straight arms (working on the shoulders as well) or with your elbows down (focusing more on core)
    • MODIFICATION: Place knees on the ground, but still engage core (you will still get a great workout)
  2. SUPERMANS:

    • With your body lying front-side, flat on the floor, lift upper and lower halves of body (kind of like you are flying like superman). You may bend arms or keeps arms straight.
    • MODIFICATION: I find bending arms is a little easier, make sure you continue squeezing those muscles!
  3. BICYCLES:

    • Lying on your back, bring opposite elbow to opposite knee while keeping your belly button in and core engaged.
    • MODIFICATION: The higher you raise your legs, the easier the exercise will be, but still effective!
  4. LEG RAISES:

    • A little advanced, this exercise works the full abdominal region. In a back-lying position, keeping your legs straight, simply raise them slow and controlled up and down–really engage the core and try not to lose form.
    • MODIFICATION: Place your hands under the small of your back (this will help control the core easier).
  5. PENGUINS:

    • Lying on your back with knees bent, use your hand to reach to the back of your heels (working the oblique muscles).
    • MODIFICATION: The closer you bring your heels in to your butt, the easier this exercise will be.

 

 

I hope you all enjoy this workout! Make sure to tag me @livebetterwithkatdetter or #livebetterwithkatdetter if you try it.

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter

Fresh Pico de Gallo

With summer just around the corner and gardens beginning to produce an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs, I decided to share my pico de gallo recipe.  Summer is the season of cookouts, BBQ’s, and grilling, and I guarantee this salsa will be a crowd favorite.

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About a year ago, I learned how to make this pico from a coworker who is from Guatemala.  I never made fresh pico de gallo before, and I was surprised that I liked it because I am not a big fan of tomatoes or cilantro…but combined with limes, jalepeno, and onion, this fresh pico is addictive.

And of course, pico de gallo is naturally nutritious! Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant (fights free radicals in the body to prevent  cancer and chronic diseases), onion (high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium), cilantro (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber), and lime (vitamin C).

Full, FREE printable recipe below and make sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter and use #livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalepenos, seeded + diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash produce. Thinly slice and dice Roma tomatoes (I also de-seeded tomatoes, completely optional). Add to serving bowl.
  2. Dice 1/2 vidalia onion and add to tomatoes in serving bowl.
  3. Slice jalepenos in half. Using a spoon, scoop out jalepeno seeds (you may keep the seeds if you want extra heat). Dice peppers and add to tomatoes + onion in serving bowl.
  4. Finely chop fresh cilantro and add to other ingredients in serving bowl.
  5. Juice 3 limes into ingredient bowl.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to enhance the flavors.
  8. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

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Tikki approves, too! 🙂 I hope you all enjoy this fresh summer recipe! The leftovers are perfect for work lunches, too!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

Inside My Herb Garden: Basil

This is my first year cultivating an herb garden! Mind you, it is a super small scale herb garden, but I am so excited to have fresh herbs to add to my dishes.

I have various kinds of herbs in my garden, but today I want to highlight basil. I have THREE types of basil in my garden right now: sweet basil, Thai basil and purple basil.

 

Sweet Basil

Arguably the most popular form of basil, sweet basil is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties–making this herb perfect for anti-aging and decreasing chances of chronic diseases. This flavorful herb is used in many different cuisines but primarily known for Italian cooking such as pesto, bruschetta, caprese and various pasta dishes.

Sweet basil is rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health), vitamin K (healthy gut microbe), vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity), magnesium (aids in metabolism), iron (transports oxygen), potassium (aids blood pressure), and calcium (cardiac function + blood clotting + strong bones). Adding a few fresh leaves of basil to your dishes will not only add freshness but will also boost the nutritional content of your meal.

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Thai Basil

Have you ever gone to a Thai restaurant and ordered a “Basilia” dish? You might be eating Thai Basil! Just like the name states, Thai Basil is an herb used in most Southeast Asia cuisines–especially Thai. Infused in many curries, sauteed with meats and veggies, or simply used for a garnish, Thai Basil is mildly sweet with a little more of a bitter, licorice-like bold flavor than sweet basil. In most recipes, Thai Basil can be substituted for sweet basil, making them interchangeable.

The nutrition profile of Thai Basil is similar to that of sweet basil being rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health) and vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity) as well as vitamin E (antioxidant + skin health).

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Purple Basil

In all honesty, I had never heard of purple basil until I planted it in my garden! The deep, rich purple color is a nice accent to my other herbs, and it smells divine–quite similar to other basil family members. While there are similarities of this herb to other basil plants, this herb is more earthy, less sweet, and comparable to the flavor of cloves. Purple basil is primarily used for infusing oils and vinegar as well as garnishing dishes.

This herb is nutritionally comparable to other basil, meaning it is high in anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. In general, purple plants are high in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

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Incorporating basil into diet ideas:

  • make your own homemade basil pesto (traditionally made with olive oil +pine nuts + basil)
  • toss with other mixed greens + veggies for a salad
  • homemade salad dressing using fresh or dried basil
  • saute with veggies
  • add to pasta dishes
  • top fresh pizza
  • caprese salad with mozzarella balls + fresh basil + grape tomatoes all tossed in olive oil
  • combine with watermelon + feta for a refreshing summer salad
  • make a panini with fresh basil + mozzarella + tomato
  • freshen your water with basil + lemon
  • infuse olive oil with purple basil for a strong, aromatic flavor

 

As summer approaches and my garden starts producing large quantities of herbs, I will share some of my favorite recipes and harvesting hacks–this is all new to me, so I will be learning along the way! If you have any harvesting tips or tricks for me, comment below or contact me here. 

 

 

What is your favorite way to use basil?

 

 

 

Until Next Time,

 Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Karen Gill, M. (2019). Basil: Uses, benefits and nutrition. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  2. Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.nutriliving.com/foods/thai-basil [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  3.  I Love Gardening. (2019). All About Purple Basil. [online] Available at: https://www.igardenplanting.com/all-about-purple-basil/ [Accessed 1 May 2019].

 

Total Body Interval Training

Anyone stuck in a rut with workouts?
Here are some exercise ideas to incorporate into your workouts—whether they be at home, at the gym, or at a park!
Now that spring is here and the weather is nice, I love to go running but want to get a total body workout in as well…here are a few ideas to get a great total body workout in at your local park or greenway: ***i show modifications to most exercises in video so the workout is friendly for all fitness levels 😊

 

Interval Running/Jogging + Exercises:

•go to your local green-way/park and run/jog/walk (whatever your fitness level may be). Every time you pass a bench, stop and complete one round of 30 seconds work: 10 seconds rest of the exercises shown above. Complete as many rounds as desired, aim between 3-5 rounds. ***modify as needed!
•instead of doing exercises for 30 seconds work:10 second rest, you could choose repetitions instead. For example, when you come to a bench, do 12-15 reps of each exercise, 3-5 rounds.
These are just a couple of examples and the options are endless! The most important thing is that you MOVE your body and do something you love. Get out, enjoy the sunshine and build those vitamin D stores ☀️

What are your favorite types of workouts?

#livebetterwithkatdetter

Wearing @fitbootyapparel leggings that are so comfy for all types of workouts!!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter on IG, Facebook, Pinterest

Live Better with Kat Detter on youtube

 

My Fitness Journey

I wasn’t always a fitness enthusiast. In fact, I used to use exercise as “punishment” for eating what I deemed “bad”.

 

I don’t categorize food as good and bad anymore–food is fuel…but that is a topic of discussion we will save for a later time.  Today, I want to share my fitness journey.

 

By now, you all know my struggles with  body image and properly fueling my body without feeling guilt. One thing I have not elaborated on is how I started exercising in the first place.

 

I can remember being a young girl, maybe 8 or 9, and my mom encouraging me to walk down the road and back with her. At the time, I did not know why she wanted me to walk with her so badly. It wasn’t fun. It was a battle. Nothing good came from it (or so I thought)–so why did she keep trying?

I’d fight and beg her not to make me…and usually she would give up and go walk by herself. Now, as an adult, I know that she was trying to instill the importance of activity to me at a young age so hopefully when I am older, I will see activity as a part of my normal-everyday routine.

 

It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I became obsessed with my body image that I started actually exercising…my brother and I would go running together, and he would literally have to push me so I’d keep going. Was it enjoyable? No…but the post-run high was completely worth it. That is when I started noticing how exercise made my mind feel good.

 

It never lasted…we would run every day together for a week, then go a month or two without consciously doing anything physically active.  Forcing myself to do certain exercises was not enjoyable for me.

 

As a freshman in high school, my mom got us a family YMCA membership so we could all work out together. She heard they were teaching Zumba Fitness classes and dragged me to one. After the first class, I said I was never going back.

 

I absolutely hated it. Crowds of people watching you dance, mirrors in front of you, no privacy…I was convinced it wasn’t for me.
However, my mom kept taking me and encouraging me to go with her. After attending for a few weeks, I loved it! I never wanted to miss a class. It was my “gateway” to other forms of group fitness classes like spin, weight lifting, and aerobics.

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After a few years of attending Zumba Fitness classes, I was given the opportunity to start teaching my own dance fitness classes as a 16 year old and loved it. Not only did it help my fitness journey grow but my personality grew as well. It became a social outlet for me and is still to this day!

 

By the time I was 17 I was working out in the gym regularly and running on days I didn’t teach dance fitness. When I moved away to college, I started training for run-races and completed several during my time in Tennessee and California. At 19, I obtained my Zumba Fitness license and continued teaching group fitness classes. I even completed 2 half marathons and my first triathlon last year.

Since then, I’ve taught at several gyms and even had my own studio going for a while.

 

At one point last year, I got stuck in a rut with my workouts and it became so frustrating that I forgot why I loved exercising in the first place. I was running on treadmills and riding stationary bikes because I didn’t know what else to do…I was burnt out from being the gym-rat I used to be…what was I supposed to do?

I then joined a group fitness challenge group where I was taught how to build HIIT workouts using only body weight–no gym or equipment required, and I saw great results. Since then, I dedicate 1-2 workouts per week solely for HIIT workouts, and try to strength train 1-2 days per week in addition to my cardio sessions. These workouts are fun for me!  For access to a FREE fitness HIIT workout demo with full workout instructions, click here.

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You see, I was not always a fitness fanatic. It took me 10 years to get where I am today, and I plan on growing even more on my fitness journey in the years to come.

 

What inspired you on your fitness journey? It’s important to know where you started for motivation to keep growing…

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

@betterwithkatdetter_rd (Instagram)

Live Better with Kat Detter (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube)

Kat’s Fitness: Total Body HIIT Workout

Make sure you check out my video tutorial of these exercises. While I typically repeat each round 3 times each and then do 30 minutes-1 hour of cardio (usually dance classes), you can most definitely do 3-5 times per round to get a complete workout.

 

 

See full workout instructions in image below.

 

 

30 Minute HIIT Workout

Share on social media!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media! 🙂

@betterwithkatdetter_rd

Jump-starting Your Fitness Routine

Have you made one of your goals to be more active this year but are having a hard time figuring out where to begin?

Today I am going to share with you a few ideas on how to get into the fitness world. Luckily, there are so many diverse options for people of all ages. The beauty of exercise is that if you don’t like one form of exercise (example: running), then you can choose a different type of exercise that you may love (example: dancing). Consistency is key! Find something you love and stick to it.

Ideas on Jump-starting Your Fitness Routine

  1. Join a Gym

This may seem too simplistic, but it is oftentimes an easy way to spark the fitness journey. Gyms have tons of equipment for both cardio and strength training as well as areas for stretching and body weight exercises. Most gyms also have personal trainers available for an additional fee that can create a workout plan specifically for you.

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     2. Group Fitness Classes

With a gym membership, there are usually a variety of group fitness classes available: Zumba, Dance Fitness, Spin, Yoga, Pilates, Silver Sneakers, HIIT, Weight lifting…the options are endless. These types of classes are a great gateway to fitness–I am speaking from personal experience. When I was 14, I joined a Zumba class and HATED it…after going a few times, I decided it was a fun way to exercise–and now I’ve been instructing for the past 7.5 years. Now I enjoy various forms of exercise outside of group fitness classes.

Dance Fitness
Group fitness dance class back in my Underground Fitness days–it was so much fun! (P.S. I am the one in orange on stage) 🙂

    3. At Home Workouts

Let’s say you aren’t into the gym scene–I get it…monthly membership fees plus an initial sign up free can get costly…you can get great workouts in the beauty of your own home! Using either body weight or dumbbell free weights, you can still stay active. Stay tuned for various videos (next month) showing my favorite at home workout exercises to help tone muscles as well as strengthen that heart.

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Photo-bombed by Banzo Bean the cat.

   4.  Pinterest Workouts

This is my FAVORITE tool for finding new workout routines. Tons of people pin their fitness websites and there are so many types of workouts to choose from: body weight, dumbbells, kettle bells, at home, at the gym–I have a notebook full of Pinterest workouts to help me when I don’t know what to do for my workout.

    5. Livestream Classes

This is another exercise form you can utilize in the privacy of your own home. This works for some people–I am a Dance2Fit livestream member paying only $20 a month for unlimited Dance2Fit classes with Jessica James. They are so much fun, full of energy, and a total body workout. This isn’t like any other type of dance class–it combines HIIT techniques with toning and cardio to hip hop music. It’s an easy way for me to  sweat and burn calories whenever I want to! No traveling needed.

Dance2Fit
I am a Dance2Fit livestream member (see link above)–$20 a month, unlimited Dance2Fit classes WHENEVER I want! And I promise you will sweat!

   6. Online Fitness Challenges

These are so much fun! I did one last fall called Fall Fit with Sarah and Jessica, and it was a 6 week program with 4 workouts per week ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour with suggested cardio and abs. There were 2 versions: at home and gym workout–I bought the at home workout that was 100% no equipment needed using only body weight. It was affordable, doable for all fitness levels, and it helped me get stronger. There are so many online fitness challenges that are promoted, and it is another great tool to utilize in jump starting your fitness routines.

   7.  Workout Partner

This is one of the best ways to work out because you have an accountability partner-someone to encourage you to workout when you don’t feel like it…someone to go through the whole process with you…someone who feels the same struggles physically that you may be experiencing. It also helps fight the boredom when you go walking/running or weight lifting, and can make group fitness classes more fun when you’ve got a buddy with you.

Half Marathon Buddy
My pal Kristy and I trained together for 12 weeks for the Loma Linda Holiday Half Marathon a few years ago. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it!

   8. Staying Active in General

We are human, life gets in the way and we may not make it to the gym or have the time to do an at home workout…or your power may go out and you don’t have TV/internet to complete your online fitness challenge (speaking from experience!)…that is okay! My biggest advice is to stay active all week long. It doesn’t have to be an organized workout plan every.single.day. It can be as simple as going for a walk with your dog, a light bike ride with your spouse, or even chasing your kids in the front yard. The main idea is that you move your body a little bit every day–not just for your workout “gainz” but also for your mental health and overall well-being.

BobKat Walk
Staying active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym–my husband and I stayed active this past Christmas by going for a light walk at our local park.

 

Now, it’s your turn to decide what you wanna try first! Try one of these suggestions and see how it goes for you. Every body is different, and we all like different things. I LOVE dancing, so naturally dance fitness style classes are my jam. Pick something and stick with it most days of the week–and every now and then pick something different to spice up your workout routine to not get stuck in a rut.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter
Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd
Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun, Family-Friendly Fall Activities

By this point, many of you are hopefully enjoying the fall air and colorful leaves…but fall is a GREAT season to set some family traditions.

After all, strong relationships are a vital part in well-rounded wellness, so get your family involved in some fall festivities!

 

1. Take a Hike

Regardless of what area you live in the US, fall generally means cooler temps…I am just lucky enough to live in an area that experiences BEAUTIFUL leaf color changes. Being about an hour from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of NC, I make frequent visits to Boone, NC during the fall months.

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While I hike, I get to enjoy the seasonal changes as well as get some nice, relaxing exercise in with my loved ones. Last year, my friends made a trip to NC for my wedding, so I took them to Rough Ridge on the Parkway to experience the beauty of changing leaves…they had never seen anything like it! During this time, we were able to spend quality time together and soak up nature’s beauty.

Not up for a drive to the mountains? Visit your local park or go for a neighborhood walk for a nice after-dinner activity. Enjoy the cool weather while it lasts!

2. Take a Bike Ride

Yes, you can bike all year round…but I had something specific in mind…

The Virginia Creeper Trail! If you aren’t on the East Coast, you’ve probably never heard of it, but it is a 35-mile multi-purpose rail trail that stretches from Abingdon, VA all the way to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in the Southwestern part of Virginia.

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I have been here several times, all in the fall…while it would be pretty any time of the year, in the fall you can enjoy the pretty colors and cool air.

Not near the Creeper Trail? No worries! Hit up your local green-way and enjoy a nice stroll outdoors.

3. Visit a Corn Maze

What fun would this be! To be honest, I have never done this but always wanted to! A corn maze seems like a fun way to get your family outdoors and enjoy the season.

Not only would it be enjoyable for the group, but it would also be a great team building experience. In order to make it through the maze, you would need strong communication skills with each other.

 

photo of corn field
Photo by Peter Fazekas on Pexels.com

 

4. Build a Bonfire

Ah, the smell of the great outdoors and feeling the warmth of a nice bonfire…that is the definition of fall! The temperatures are cooler, nights are clearer, and far less humid (in the South).

photo of bonfire
Photo by rasik on Pexels.com

It is also super fun to cook over the fire…you could do the standard hot dogs-s’mores feast (which I am totally pro…in fact we are doing that this weekend!), or you could get a little creative! I have wrapped washed, sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and let sit in the coals for an hour or so, allow to cool, and enjoy! There is something about food being cooked in the coals of a bonfire that makes it taste so good! You could do the same method for apples, white potatoes, or any other root vegetable.

5. Carve Pumpkins

This is something I look forward to every year! If you are feeling even more adventurous, take your family to a local pumpkin patch. A few years ago, my friends in California and I went to a pumpkin patch in Oak Glen–a gorgeous mountainous land that made me feel like I was at home only I was still in SoCal.

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Luckily, nowadays there are carving stencil kits available so your pumpkin comes out looking flawless. Though we do not have kids, my husband and I still enjoy carving pumpkins together as adults…quality time!

Don’t know what to do with the pumpkin seeds? Rinse them off to get all of the pumpkin pulp off and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.

6. Visit a Local Apple Orchard

Nothing screams fall like an apple orchard! It’s even better when it’s a “pick-your-own” apple orchard. It is a fun way to get your family active and set good examples of eating fresh, whole foods. There are several pick-your-own orchards in the North Carolina mountains that have a lot of kid-friendly activities, as well.

When I was a little girl, we lived across from an Apple Orchard–and we still do…it’s just a wedding venue now instead of a pick your own apple orchard…(click here to read about “Memories at Hill Top Orchard Venue”…)

apple tree
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Anyway, I can remember my dad taking us up to the orchard in his tractor to pick apples. There is something about picking an apple straight off the tree, wiping it off on your shirt, and taking a bite…that is the BEST way to eat a raw apple in my opinion.

Of course you can enjoy your apples raw, but fall is also a great time to make homemade applesauce while apples are in season. Cook the apples with cinnamon and honey, and if you’re feeling spunky, can some for the upcoming year.

 

There are tons of things you can enjoy in the fall, but these are some great ideas to get outdoors and enjoy the season with your family. My challenge for you: Pick at least one of these six ideas to spend time with your family…I promise you will make unforgettable memories! As always, fall is a time for being thankful for what you have. While we should always be grateful, spend a little extra time over the next few months to count your blessings.

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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