We are in the last official month of summer (already). And although the warm weather continues until October for some areas in the United States, most of us will be saying goodbye to the summer weather toward the end of the month and the days will begin to get shorter and the weather much milder come September. If you have kids going into school at the end of the month, or after Labor Day, this is the last chance for vacation or fun summer activities before work begins and the crazy schedules set in.
Consider taking advantage of the last month before school and take a trip to a National Park with your family. There are so many options you can do when visiting a National Park, really the possibilities are almost endless; from camping, fishing, hiking, to horseback riding. Not only will this time away allow you to reconnect with each other, slow down, and maybe even disconnect with technology for a while, but it will be an experience of a lifetime! They are convenient, affordable, educational, and ideal for relaxation. There are even health benefits to spending time and being active outdoors:
- To increase children’s chances of success in school: Kids with access to parks and playgrounds are more likely to engage in physical activities — and kids who are physically active do better in school. What a better way to do this than a trip to the ultimate “park”.
- To contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight: Local and National parks and recreation departments increase access to nutritious food options and promote physical activity
- To have a more positive outlook: Spending time outdoors reduces stress and improves mental health. Exposure to nature improves creativity, decreases stress hormones, and calms aggression.
There are many National Parks to visit this month: Yosemite National Park in California, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, and Montana’s Glacier National Park are just a few that would be beautiful to visit in August. You can visit this website to choose the best National Park to visit this month. Happy Trails!
August is also a great month to start establishing good eating habits, but in my opinion that can happen anytime! After this month, things start revving up and most people jump into the “busy season”. When we are busy, it is harder to establish good habits; begin those now. This month, why not try incorporating a new weekly routine of “Meatless Mondays?”
Monday is typically the beginning of the work week, the day when we settle back into our weekly routine. Unhealthy habits that carry over from the weekend can be forgotten and replaced by positive choices. A weekly reminder to restart healthy habits also encourages success!
Doing Meatless Mondays has a further reach than just healthy eating habits. Take it a step further and make them “Vegan Mondays”. Did you know that you are saving 1 animal, 4 pounds of grain, 1,000 gallons of water and 30 square feet of forest each day you eat vegan? Even ONE day of practicing this healthy eating style will make a global difference.
Not convinced that your family will be on board? Here are some amazing Vegan recipes that they are sure to love:
To make these Oats vegan, make sure you aren’t using cow milk and that you are using a dairy-free milk as I have specified in my recipe below. You’re going to love this easy, yet delicious, breakfast
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt)
- 2 dashes cinnamon
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup cherries
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1/2 cup soy milk (I also use light coconut milk)
These are great for any day of the week and you’re going to want to eat them on more than Meatless Mondays – maybe even incorporate them into your Taco Tuesdays! They are super simple and your whole family will love them.
- 2 large russet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Corn tortillas
- Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, onion, jalapeno, cilantro
You’d never guess these Vegan Summer Vegetable Lasagna Rolls were vegan! Even BETTER than the original. Creamy, delicious, and carnivore-friendly!
- 9 whole grain lasagna noodles
- 32 oz pasta sauce
- 1 medium zucchini, grated + water squeezed out
- 1 yellow summer squash, grated + water squeezed out
- 1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
- Freshly ground pepper
- 16oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 3/4 cup roasted garlic hummus
- 12 oz frozen spinach, thawed + water squeezed out
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil, loosely packed (optional)
There are many more recipes that I could go on and on about, but here are some honorable mentions that you can try at home:
- Allergen Sweet Potato Cookies via This Healthy Kitchen
- Rainbow Pancake Tacos via Fork and Beans
- Baked Garlic Pepper Polenta Fries via Moon and Spoon and Yum
- Baked Sweet Potato Fritters via This Healthy Cook
- Thai Mango Chickpea Curry via It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
August is National Peach Month and has been since 1982. Did you know that Georgia is the Peach State, but California produces about 50 percent of the USA peaches? The peach actually originated from the region of Northwest China, but today it can be found in many parts of the world. China still produces and distributes 50% of the world’s peaches today.
Peaches, although eaten as a dessert fruit by most people, are actually quite healthy for you. So having a peach for dessert would be an excellent choice over a sugary treat. Peaches are a rich provider of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B-6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Peaches also offer a rich treasure of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and copper. Peaches are low in calories, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are a good source of dietary fiber.
With all those health benefits, it’s no wonder why they are a symbol of good luck, protection, and longevity in China. Here is an article that explains some really amazing health benefits of the peach.
I’ve got the perfect recipe to celebrate National Peach Month – you are going to love it!!
- 4 Medium white peaches, peeled, pitted and cubed
- 2 cups Bing cherries, pitted
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup organic palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup organic palm sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar in the raw (also called turbinado sugar)
“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” ― Sylvia Plath