Tuesday, July 5, 2011


 Picnicking at the zoo with the flamingos ... 

Hi, everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic fourth of July weekend.

My day was incredible. Chicago at it's finest. Clear blue skies, in the 80's with a cool breeze. I spent part of the morning biking the lakefront for about fifteen miles. After parking the bike, I power-walked a few miles down to my favorite beach, sunned a bit and headed back. I was back at the condo by one.

I planeed to have a picnic at the zoo with friends so I prepared an awesome healthy feast and headed over to the zoo. One thing I LOVE about my condo is that it's a ten minute walk to the zoo.

How about you? Did you spend your day out in the sunshine?

Now as you know on Tuesdays I feature a post on a healthier lifestyle. I hope you all didn't fill up on too many hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips, dips, etc.

I for one LOVE all the previous foods I just mentioned. I know, it's a holiday and it only comes once a year.... that was my excuse too. Stop fooling yourself. You will NEVER be fit and healthy eating these foods.

Hotdogs are filled with nitrates, fats, salt, and chemicals. Hamburger meat is just as bad unless you are eating organic, grass fed beef. Any food with mayonnaise, white potatoes, macaroni(as in salad) chips of all kinds, even pretzels(too much salt) Useless carbs and fats pack on the pounds and make us sluggish and lethargic. Who wants to move after eating all this? Don't you just want to flop on a chaise, sofa, chair and fall asleep?

It't time to re-think your fine weather eating. Today I am going to give you some DELICIOUS alternatives, and you will feel alert and want to play some frisbee, softball, volleyball, take a bike ride or just go for a delightful walk.

For my picnic today I grilled two grass fed organic burgers and wrapped them in foil. I also made a fresh tuna salad, and not the kind you think...  First grate fresh ginger and rub on a fresh tuna steak. Grill tuna medium or well and the let cool off. Pull apart tuna with a fork, add diced celery, chop seedless tomatoes,  finely chopped shallots, and shredded romaine lettuce and mix. It's light and delicious with no added oils or mayonnaise.

I also brought along, almonds, fresh bing cherries, sliced tomato for the burger, and a bit of white cheddar cheese. So I covered, crunchy, sweet, meaty, cheesy, and a salad. I felt satisfied and really enjoyed it. Seriously, once you get used to not eating the fats, starches, and sugars, you really can taste the deliciousness of the food itself.

Just remember you guys, these are on the extreme side. You can add a bit of olive oil on the tuna salad if you like. If you're add a bbq and have regular meat, cut down on the bread, have half a bun instead of a full and pile up lettuce, onion, pickles, etc. Ketchup is loaded with sugar, but mustard is fine. If you can low fat cheese is better.  If you must have hotdogs get Hebrew National. Pierce them and par boil them before grilling, It gets out the oils and salts. Many of these meats are LOADED with salt and you will maintain excess water. Cutting salt is really healthy especially ANYONE who has high blood pressure or has it in their family. Why push it. We can fight back.

Well, that's it for this week. More fun recipes and tips next week. Let me know how healthy you spent this weekend through diet and exercise.... Share your tips....  I'd love to know them.


  1. Yay for long weekends and wonderful weather! Here in Houston we were close to 100 degrees each day. Thank goodness for pool time! We grilled, ate copious amounts of desserts and spent plenty of time in the pool!!!

    I'm paying for it today! Though I did go home last night and revise like a good little writer.

    Now - Bring on November ;)

  2. The tuna salad sounds divine. I'm trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle, but I have to admit that fries and ketchup are my kryptonite. Can't skip them. ;-)

  3. Yummm. I want to be invited to one of your barbecues lol.

    Michael I gave you a blog award on my blog. It's one you don't have yet and there are no strings attached at all so you don't have to pass it on :)

  4. Hubby had to work all weekend, but we did make it to a fireworks show last night. Planned on taking the kids to the MN zoo this week, but the whole state's on shutdown, so it's closed. (theirs is closer to me than any in WI) :( Hopefully soon!

  5. Oh, I miss the city! And the zoo. And the lake. And the beaches. And just about everything...And I'm already hungry reading your healthy menu. Great options, BTW.

    Have a great day, Michael!

  6. Even just the thought of hotdogs makes me ill!

    I'm glad you had a fab holiday, Michael!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful day, Michael!

    We enjoyed dramatic thunderstorms on the Fourth, but it cleared enough for an evening of fireworks. One day, two different displays, who could ask for more?

    That tuna salad sounds killer (in a good way). I admit to being a recovering saltaholic. The only thing that saves me is an aversion to boxed and canned foods. At least when I do succumb to temptation and add salt, I'm adding it to fresh foods rather than to processed foods already loaded with sodium.

  8. Your picnic sounds delicious and 4th of July in Chicago sounds divine.

    We went on a mountainbiking waterfall tour where we rode down the mountains and then slid down waterfall slides. It was amazing (even though everyone is a little bruised today)!

  9. You are really serious about this!
    What about veggie dogs? I read we're supposed to get a daily dose of soy.

  10. Healthy diet and exercise? I can't live with quorn sausages and veggies alone. I try sometimes. LOL. I need something tastier :) Happy fourth of July! :)

  11. I had strawberry crepes! Okay- I did store buy the actual crepe shell and the cream cheese- but the strawberries were very fresh and I did not add any sugars at all. My girls loved them too!

  12. Now you've gone and done it! I am so hungry now. This food sounded so delicious! Thanks for sharing a picture from the zoo, I believe it must be a wonderful place for a picnic.

  13. Ever considered going vegetarian, Michael? Lots of healthy choices there and no hormone-injected animal products. (I'm actually a total vegan.)

  14. I love your extreme recipies, they're right up my alley. I never use oil anymore and butter is close to being extricated from my diet too. As for sun, I've been out in that a bit TOO much lately!

  15. I won't tell you how I spent my long weekend. Excerpt; I worked hard for you, I spent quality time with my son, and didn't once think about the right foods to eat :)

    We were together, we had a memorable weekend; and I know you approve of that. Tonight; I sit with the fantasy of your picnic, and pretend you and I shared it together, and I carry with me the prospect of a future meeting with such a delicious menu.

    Thank you Michael, for this moment.


  16. Awesome recommendations there! I was naughty and had burgers... but I take it light the rest of the day. :)

  17. Glad you had a good day. The picture is gorgeous. I'm not telling you what I ate, mostly because all I remember is the salad. But I picked strawberries on Monday and I'm making homemade strawberry pie today. And I'm not even going to feel bad about eating some.

  18. You've just inspired me to have a garden burger and a salad for lunch. I love how healthy you are!

  19. I didn't get out much this week. I do love watermelon and that's high on the healthy chart. No salt needed.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  20. One tip I need to follow is wearing sunscreen. I'm as red as Dr. Zoidberg after our July 4th at the beach.

  21. Sounds like an awesome 4th. I had a big party and bbq at my place and then we lit up a million fireworks. (= God bless America!

  22. Let's see.... we had carne asada, pinto beans, tortilla chips and salsa, guacamole, and fruit salad. I passed on the white rice--my wife's family consumes a lot of white rice, but I'm not so fond of it. The weather wasn't overly hot. One of my nephews and I took an hour long walk and talked politics. I guess it wasn't my most unhealthy day.

    Tossing It Out

  23. I do require olive oil and mustard. These healthy eating tips are great, and please keep them coming! I'm a stress eater and need to have more healthy things nearby to grab.

    You wouldn't believe the copious amounts of meat that surrounded me at the 4th party I went to. (Mind out of the gutter, Michael. ;)) I'm so happy you had such a great day in the city for the holiday.

    Soooo, guess who's dipping her toe into BG tomorrow... :D

  24. Hope you had a great 4th July, too. We had a great weekend, though we ate too many chips and I had a double cheese and bacon burger (which I shared with Hubby). Now we are home it's back to healthy eating again. :O)

  25. BTW have you come across the Parseltongue translator?
    It's excitingly creepy: http://parseltonguetranslator.warnerbros.com/

  26. I'm working on the healthier eating Michael. I am not ready to give up the fries (say, aren't they veggies!!!) but I don't eat red meat, pork, hot dogs, or any fatty meats like that. I try to get lots of veggies in my diet (okay I know FF are not a veggie but they're so good!!!) and I do exercise quite a bit. So I am changing a little at a time and I think that's the way to go for me. Too much radical change and I will blow it! Cheers!