Athens

We spent two short days in Greece. One full day in Athens and another day taking a trip out the the close islands. We spent a majority of our Europe trip in Italy, but wanted to get a feel for Greece too. I definitely want to come back to the main islands, Mykonos and Santorini.

Athens

Wow, it’s hard to put into words seeing some of this ancient history!

Walk the Ruins 

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Use your guidebook to do a self-guided walk through the ruins. We walked here from our hotel and spent at least five-six hours walking through the ruins. The area is huge! We didn’t grab lunch until 4 PM.

Visit Restaurant Row 

IMG_1665Of course, you have to try the souvlaki. Keep in mind, if you sit down, they charge you more of your meal vs. doing take away. We didn’t know this until the bill arrived. It was nice to rest our feet tho!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy Spanakopita 

IMG_1752Yum! That’s all I have to say. We loved it so much, we make it for pot luck parties here.

Chopped Salad

I love Zeeks and this recipe was inspired by their delicious chopped salad.

Healthy Chopped Salad Recipe3 cups Romaine Lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 small handful of mozzarella cheese
4 slices of chopped salami
4-6 ounces of grilled chicken breast
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers
2 TB Balsamic Vinaigrette

Toss all together into a salad and enjoy! Consider this meal an easy way to get in 4+ servings of vegetables!

Too Juicy for Dressing Salad

No Dressing Chicken Salad Recipe

3 cups of mixed greens
2 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 roasted bell pepper, chopped
2 small roma tomatoes, chopped
1/8 cup of raisins
1/8 cup of feta cheese
1 handful of shredded carrots
1/8 cup red onion, chopped
6 oz of grilled chicken

This salad is great because the “juices” from the roasted bell pepper, marinated artichoke hearts and roma tomatoes give it enough flavor that dressing isn’t even necessary. Toss all the ingredients together and enjoy!

How to Encourage Others to Get Healthy

Five Ways to Encourage Others to Get Healthy

How to Help Others Change Their Diet

How to Encourage Others to Get HealthyStarting a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge in the beginning, especially if members of your household are not on-board. While success is still possible, it’s important to encourage your family and other close friends to join you so the lifestyle can feel easy for the year’s ahead. Here are a few tips to consider:

Tell them what you have learned. It can be exciting to make new, healthy changes and to stay accountable to your plan, it helps to talk about it. Plus, learning new information and wanting to share it is fun. When it comes to encouraging others to get healthy with you, focus on what you’ve learned instead of criticizing what they should be doing. Focus on being positive. For example, you could say, “I have started eating vegetables at every meal the past few weeks and I’ve learned I no longer feel tired after a meal.” Something to avoid saying is, “you know you should be eating multiple servings of vegetables a day for stable energy.” By stating what you have learned and how it’s improved your life opens the door for your friends and family to see if they are interesting in joining with you.

Focus on talking about what you’re eating instead of what you’re not eating. If you start a conversation with “I’m not eating sugar, pasta, bread, processed foods or alcohol because those foods are not healthy for you,” you’ll probably instantly make them feel defensive or uncomfortable. They also might think you’re judging them if those foods are currently in their diet. Instead, keep it positive by saying what you are eating. “I’ve been eating lots of roasted vegetables, frittatas, fresh fruit, grilled fish and easy crockpot recipes.” These statements makes a person feel completely different and are non-judgmental.

Sneak in the good stuff. This can be a really good trick for picky eaters. Sometimes the thought of broccoli for kids or adults can automatically have a reaction of, yuck! But, what happens if you finely chop broccoli into a spaghetti meat sauce or other dinners? Is it more do-able? Start by finely chopping vegetables into your current recipes. Your family may not even notice it, yet they are reaping the nutritional benefits. Sneaking spinach or other leafy greens can also works well in smoothies. If you decide to tell them your tricks, they may be excited to know they like it!

Make it a fun activity. Healthy food can be fun. Get your family involved by having them help you plan a meal. Kids may really enjoy this activity. You could also plan a BBQ or dinner party for your friends and family. Be in charge of the menu and surprise them with your healthy favorites! They may be asking for the recipes afterwards.

Always remember that this is your journey. Encouraging others is important, but unfortunately we can’t make decisions for others. Lead by example, keep positive thoughts flowing, and before you know it, you may just have those people following in your footsteps.

 

 

How to Make Exercise a Habit

Three Ways to Exercise Every Week

Three Ways to Start Exercising ConsistentlyIf you’re new to exercise, you might find it to be an uphill battle to keep up with your program. You may hear people say, “exercise is so fun!” and all you can think about is, “Ugh, I hate it! When will I get there?” Here are three things to work on.

Be consistent. 

Consistency is key when it comes to making a habit stick. Many people think they have to exercise for a specific amount of time to make it count and if they don’t have one hour in their day to commit to exercise, they simply don’t do it. It’s so easy to fall into this mindset trap. When you’re looking to form a stable exercise habit, you have to expect off days will happen. But, how do you handle those off days? Change your mindset. If you don’t have one hour to exercise, make time for 15 minutes of movement. This can be walking, stretching, ½ of a workout video, anything! Something is always better than nothing. When you set the bar to simple stay active, you’ll find yourself consistently exercising every single week.

Be accountable. 

Being accountable can truly help you form the habit of exercising weekly. Accountability can be formed by building relationships with others or using tracking devices to keep you aware how often you’re moving. To start feeling accountable, you can even begin by telling a co-worker or family member that you’ve joined a fitness facility. They most likely will ask you how it’s going! If you enjoy being accountable to yourself, tracking devices like a fitbit, pedometer or online tools like myfitnesspal.com can help you manage how often you’re exercising. Find what works the best for you.

Find something you actually enjoy doing. 

Always remember that there are so many ways to exercise! If you don’t love exercising on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. If exercise feels like a chore, you know you haven’t found something you enjoy yet. Plus, it will be a mental fight every day to do it. Experiment with all of the options. Try a class, ask a fitness professional for advice, try a new machine, or think of what you enjoyed as a kid. When you find something you truly enjoy doing, you are more likely to do it.