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Healthy Memorial Day Party Ideas

Healthy Memorial Day Party Ideas

Memorial Day is often viewed as the unofficial kick-off to summer. People take advantage of the long weekend to head out of the city for a couple of days or spend some time outside. It’s also a holiday when many uncover their grills for the first time or blend up a frozen cocktail (or two). In celebrating this joyful and warm season, we’re sharing five ideas to make your Memorial Day get-together healthier. 

Bring On the Produce…
This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of all the fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables in season. Instead of looking for ways to transform them, prepare produce simply in ways that highlight their natural deliciousness (plus, enjoying fruits and veggies raw will deliver the greatest health perks). Load up on vegetables like leafy greens, crunchy cucumbers, and sweet bell peppers to mix in a garden salad, or toss plump, juicy tomatoes with cubed bread for a hearty Panzanella salad

…But Don’t Be Afraid to Grill It
Sure, we’ve been grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steak tips forever, but Memorial Day is an excellent opportunity to expand our grilling repertoire to fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid to grill some fat asparagus or pop some onions, peppers, and mushrooms on a skewer. Wow your friends with sweet, grilled pineapple rings or apricot halves for dessert.

Choose Herb-Heavy Marinades…
Instead of marinating meat in thick, sugar-laden sauces like barbecue, put together a marinade using olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar and featuring lots of fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and tarragon. Herbs will not only deliver bright, fresh flavors that match the season, but they’ll provide you with the good-for-you antioxidants.

…And Anti-Inflammatory Dry Rubs
Speaking of antioxidants, you can also add more to your meal with an antioxidant-rich dry rub on your meat or veggies. Spices like garlic, ginger, black pepper, cayenne, and turmeric are loaded with compounds that curb inflammation, helping to reduce digestive woes, fatigue, brain fog, and more. 

Get Outside…And Stay Outside
Vitamin D plays a critical role in many bodily processes, including building and maintaining healthy bones, boosting mood, and powering your immune system. Yet very few foods contain it, meaning we still need to get a majority from the sun. Ensuring adequate vitamin D intake is just one reason to spend as much time outdoors as possible on this holiday and throughout the warmer months. You’ll feel better for it.

8 Ways to Live More Mindfully

8 Ways to Live More Mindfully

You’ve likely heard all about the benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your daily life by now. This idea of trying to be fully present in your experiences and as you go about your day has been shown to reduce stress, boost mood, improve sleep, and more. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend an hour a day meditating to get the benefits! Here are eight small, simple ways to live more mindfully daily.

Just Breathe
One of the first things any mindfulness or meditation teacher will tell you to do is focus on your breathing. While sitting still and breathing deeply for a few minutes a day, focusing on the air filling your lungs and leaving them will have huge perks. Trying to breathe more slowly and deeply as you go about your day will too. 

Identify Your Senses
We learn all about our senses in preschool and kindergarten, but it seems as if we forget about them as we get older. We know they are how we interact with the world around us, but it looks as if we never stop to think about them. So, one easy way to practice being fully present is to identify the things you are sensing at any given moment—what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste.

Slow Down
While this is probably advice you’ve received before, in terms of mindfulness, it applies more to the little things, like household chores. Instead of rushing through washing the dishes or folding the laundry to get to the next task that needs doing, take your time and be fully present in the activity. 

Meditate
No doubt establishing a daily meditation practice will help you live more mindfully. To get you started, there are apps like Headspace and Calm that will lead you through guided meditations of all different lengths so you can choose what fits best into your day. 

Go For a Walk
Moving your body and spending time outside—breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds chirping, feeling the muscles in your legs engage with each step—will allow you to forget about all your to-dos and live in the moment while helping you destress. 

Have Morning “Me Time”
Taking a few minutes to yourself in the morning to drink a cup of coffee or tea, read a book or write in your planner sets the tone for a mindful day. Even if it means waking up 15 minutes earlier, it’s worth it. 

Savor Your Food
Food is fuel but is also meant to be enjoyed. Instead of shoveling it down your throat, try to slow down and savor your food’s flavors, textures, and smells. You’ll be more mindful of the length of time you spend eating, plus you’ll enjoy the meal more. 

Write in a Journal
If you’re struggling to live in the moment when your day is filled with tasks, work, and chores that need completing, try taking some time at the end of the day (or first thing the following day) to write in a journal reflecting on how you felt during the day. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to recognize these things as you go about your daily life.


For more ways you can live more mindfully to live a positive and happy life, give us a follow on Instagram to find more tips and tricks.

Unplugging Can Improve Your Health—Here’s How to Do It

Unplugging Can Improve Your Health—Here’s How to Do It

It’s no secret that almost everyone is glued to their phones. Whether texting with friends or family, answering work emails, or scrolling through social media, we spend countless hours a day with our eyes on our phones. Add in work time spent in front of the computer, and we’re likely looking at a screen for most of the day. While some of this time is necessary, such as when we’re working, taking steps to tear our eyes away from screens can be a boon for our physical and mental health.

For one, a time when you’re not looking at a screen can be used for taking part in a different, often healthy activity, such as going for a walk, cooking a homemade meal, attending an exercise class, or just spending time with your loved ones. Putting down the phone or shutting your laptop will help you practice mindfulness or be more present in your experiences, thus getting more in tune with your world. Looking at people you know (and people you don’t) on social media can lead to an unconscious comparison of your life to theirs (or really, to the version of their life they are presenting online), which can breed feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy. On the flip side, taking part in activities that make you feel good and creating memories with your friends and family instead of peeping at the lives of others will make you happier in the long run. 

So, exactly how can you unplug? You can take simple steps in your daily life that will drastically reduce your time looking at screens. Here are three:

  • Make your bedroom a phone-free zone: Before you go to sleep and right after you wake up are prime times for mindless scrolling. Leaving your phone in a different room for the night makes this habit impossible. 
  • Set your work hours: This is especially important if you’re working from home, as you may be tempted to spend longer in front of the computer than you need to. Determine when you’re going to sit down and when you’re going to close up shop and stick to it.
  • Plan technology-free fun: Schedule board game nights once a week, designate times when you will go for a walk, or determine a menu ahead of time to have the ingredients to cook a healthy meal. Planning will make it easier for you to avoid settling for your screens. 
4 Tasty Recipes to Grill Up This Spring

4 Tasty Recipes to Grill Up This Spring

We love turning to the grill when the weather gets warmer. In addition to imbuing proteins and veggies with mouthwatering smoky flavor, grilling means fewer dishes and less clean-up required in your kitchen. Try one this weekend! We’re sharing some of our favorite grill-based recipes from popular food blogs in honor of sunny days.

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa Verde from Half Baked Harvest

This recipe takes grilled chicken to a whole new level with the addition of a tropical marinade featuring garlic, thyme, cayenne, cinnamon, and all-spice, plus a sweet and spicy salsa on top. The twist: You grill the lemon and mango in the salsa in addition to grilling the chicken, so the entire dish tastes like sunshine. Recipe here.

Grilled Sausage and Peppers with Garlic Aioli from Pinch of Yum

You’ve probably grilled sausages in the past, but have you grilled sausages and peppers and onions and buns? The trick with this recipe is to cook the peppers and onions in a grill basket or cast iron skillet alongside the sausage, then add the buns at the end to give them a toast. Top everything with homemade garlic aioli, and there’s nothing better. Recipe here.

Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa from Laughing Spatula

Try these fresh salmon burgers that can’t be beaten for a light, healthy, and satisfying weeknight meal. They’re thick and meaty, so they won’t fall apart on the grill and feature onions and poblano peppers for freshness and bite, while salmon and avocado deliver a double dose of slimming, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Recipe here.

Pesto Summer Squash Bruschetta with Poached Eggs from Naturally Ella

One of the best parts of spring and summer is all the fresh produce in season, which is just as easy and delicious to grill as animal proteins. This flavor-packed recipe is proof, as it transforms grilled summer squash and onions into a light and a tasty salad featuring herby, springy pesto that can be served on toast, topped with an egg, both, or as a side dish. Recipe here.

Have a favorite grilling recipe you like to cook in the spring or summer? Share it with us by tagging us in your posts on Instagram or Facebook.

Apartment Gardening for Beginners

Apartment Gardening for Beginners

There are numerous benefits to keeping plants in your home. In addition to the aesthetic perks, plants can purify the air in your apartment, making it cleaner and healthier for you to breathe. Add in the simple fact that growing and nurturing plants can help foster happiness and self-confidence, and there’s no reason not to make a trip to your local garden center.

But what if you don’t have a green thumb? Don’t fret! Here is how to get your apartment garden started.

First, evaluate your sun situation. While most plants don’t need to be in direct sun every day, they need some. Fruiting and flowering plants typically need a full day of sunshine so that they may be best situated on a balcony next to a window facing north or south. Meanwhile, green plants may only need sun exposure for part of the day. Before purchasing your plants, determine how much sun comes into your apartment over the day and where it hits, and set up your garden accordingly.

Speaking of green plants, if you’re wary of your gardening skills, start with low-maintenance plants. These include pothos, snake plants, succulents, spider plants, and peace lilies, which don’t require full sun and only need to be watered around once a week or so.

But if you’re looking to replicate an outdoor garden on your apartment windowsill, complete with herbs, vegetables, and fruits, you can! Here are some of the easiest to grow:

  • Herbs: You can grow a few different kinds of herbs in small pots to use for cooking. If you’re new to growing herbs, leafy picks like basil, parsley, and cilantro are the easiest. Here are more details on creating an apartment herb garden
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes grow well in pots, as long as the pot is large enough. You can choose a variety of tomatoes based on your space, such as those that grow in a hanging basket or on a ladder set inside the pot.
  • Mini Peppers: Small hot and sweet peppers grow very well in pots. Hot is easier to grow in containers, but sweet can be tastier to snack on—though even if you’re not eating them, mini peppers will add a fun pop of color to your space.

For more tips and tricks on apartment gardening, follow us on Instagram or Facebook

Top 5 Spring Activities in the DMV

Top 5 Spring Activities in the DMV

Spring has sprung in the DMV, and it’s time to get back outside! Here are five fun activities that will help you enjoy sunny days and warmer temperatures. 

  1. Picnic in Rock Creek Park

This 1,754-acre park stretches from downtown DC up to Derwood, Maryland. In addition to being filled with paved walking paths and hiking trails, there are numerous picnic areas that feature tables and grills for public use. Head out to the section of the park nearest to your apartment and enjoy a spring feast in the warm air. 

  1. Celebrate The National Cherry Blossom Festival 

Even though we’ve passed peak bloom for DC’s beloved cherry blossoms, the festival runs until April 17. Watch the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 9 or visit Petalpalooza on April 16, a full day of live music, interactive art installations, family-friendly activities, a beer garden, etc. 

  1. Visit The National Zoo

Warmer days are upon us, which means all the animals at The National Zoo are ready to play! Completely free to visit, spend a day strolling through the Zoo with your family and friends. The Zoo is currently celebrating 50 years of hosting giant pandas, so be sure to check them out (or attend the free Pandaversary party on April 16 and 17) along with fan favorites like the gorilla’s, orangutans, and elephants. 

  1. Shop a Farmer’s Market

Spring brings plenty of fresh, healthy, and delicious spring produce—which is even tastier when you buy it from a local farmer. Fortunately, there are tons of farmer’s markets around the DMV where you can pick up some fruits and veggies. Some of our favorites include FRESHFARM and Eastern Market in DC, the Chevy Chase and Bethesda Farmers Markets in Maryland, and the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria. 

  1. Stroll on the C&O Canal Towpath

For days when you’re in the mood to walk (or bike) for miles enjoying the sounds and smells of spring in the DMV, the C&O can’t be beaten. Beginning in Georgetown and running 184.5 miles to Cumberland, Maryland, you can stay on the dirt and stone path or detour off onto hiking trails and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Potomac River. 

For more things to do in the DMV this spring and summer, follow along with us on Instagram.

8 Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

8 Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

It’s spring cleaning time! Many people like to use this time of year to give their home a refresh. Here are eight tips to help you get your apartment looking, smelling, and feeling new.

Don’t Be Afraid to Purge
Go into cleaning with this mindset: If you come across something you haven’t used in months or forgot that you had, you can probably get rid of it. Having fewer things means a tidier home which is also easier to keep clean.

Look to Donate
Consider donating any clothes, shoes, books, or other items that you could repurpose instead of tossing in the trash as you’re purging.

Set Aside Enough Time
Don’t underestimate how long it will take you to complete this cleaning project without abandoning it halfway through. Set aside enough time to give your apartment a total top to bottom refresh.

Tackle Appliances
Appliances can be a pain to clean, but this is the perfect time of year to tackle them. Run the self-cleaning feature on your oven, and while it’s going, scrub the inside of your microwave, toaster oven, and refrigerator. 

Wash Curtains
Shower and window curtains undergo a lot of wear and tear but don’t always get enough love in the cleaning department. Use this opportunity to clean them, and don’t forget the plastic shower curtain liner—you can put the liner in your washing machine on a gentle cycle and toss window curtains in the dryer on air-dry only to give them a refresh. 

Move Furniture
We clean around our furniture for most of the year, shoving the vacuum under the couch and sweeping around table legs. During spring cleaning, move these large pieces of furniture out of the way so you can get rid of the dust and dirt that’s been collecting in hard-to-reach places. 

Organize Your Junk Drawer
You’ve been tossing things in it all year long, and now it’s time to get your junk drawer organized. Start by taking everything out, then develop an organization strategy and throw away anything you don’t use. Also, consider finding a new home for any items used mainly in a different room of your apartment, like the bathroom. 

Look Up
Whip out your extendable duster and tackle ceiling fans and light fixtures.

For more spring cleaning tips and tricks, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.

Transitioning from Home Workouts to Group Classes

Transitioning from Home Workouts to Group Classes

Over the last two years, we’ve spent a lot of time working out in our apartments by ourselves. Whether putting together personal routines or following along with a virtual live or prerecorded class, it’s been a solitary endeavor. And for many, this has made a consistent exercise routine challenging to stick to, especially for those who thrive on the camaraderie and accountability that a group class provides.

The good news: Power for Life Fitness is happy to report that new properties are returning to in-person group fitness classes every day! Regardless of whether you’re eager to sign up or wary of returning, here are some of the perks of making the transition. 

Accountability

When you’re exercising at home, no one but you knows if you did as many reps as possible or if you cut your workout short to get dinner started—so it can be tempting to take these shortcuts every now and then, especially if you’re not feeling your best or have a long to-do list to get to. While any workout is beneficial and worthwhile, attending a group fitness class with your neighbors and a supportive instructor will help you push yourself. Plus, since group classes are scheduled ahead of time, you can put it on your calendar the week (or even the month) before. Having the classes listed on your schedule makes it easier to commit to going.

Variety

Even if you’ve been taking live-streamed fitness classes in your apartment, it’s likely that your space and equipment have limited the types of workouts you’ve been able to do. By returning to group classes, these limitations vanish. Not only does this keep your workouts interesting and more fun, but it helps to mix things up, so you challenge your body in different ways to help you see results faster. 

Opportunities to Socialize

When you’re working from home and eating at home and exercising at home, you may be getting sick of, well, you. Group fitness classes offer the chance to socialize with your neighbors while also doing something good for yourself. What’s more, that you can attend those classes without even leaving your apartment building makes the whole experience stress-free.


If you’re looking forward to returning to group fitness classes in your apartment building, make sure you follow your property and P4LF on Instagram to stay updated on your community’s class schedule.

5 Healthy Food Blogs to Follow

5 Healthy Food Blogs to Follow

When deciding to make a diet change, as many people do at the start of a new year, you may have a plan for the first few weeks or months: what you’re going to cook, how much you’re going to exercise, etc. But as that first period comes to a close, you may start to run out of inspiration (and maybe a little motivation). To the rescue: Five food blogs filled with tasty and good-for-you meals to help you make healthy eating fun and easy. 

The Defined Dish

On this site, you’ll find creative and straightforward recipes packed with flavor and nourishing whole foods. There are many Whole 30-compliant recipes (meaning dishes free of any inflammatory foods or potential allergens), like Vietnamese-Inspired Shredded Chicken Salad, plus gluten-free and Paleo options, like Mimi’s Italian Fish Stew.  

Skinnytaste

Whether you’re looking for vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, Paleo, or keto recipes, you’ll find them at Skinnytaste. The best part: Many of the meals are ready in under 30 minutes and feature easy-to-find and easy-to-prepare ingredients, like Crustless Potato Jalapeno Quiche and Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza. 

100 Days of Real Food

This blog is all about cutting out processed foods and replacing them with fresh, whole, good-for-you options. The result is homemade versions of mouthwatering dishes like Super Quick Ramen Bowls and Oven-Baked Cheese “Fries” made with ingredients you will feel good about eating. 

Ambitious Kitchen

The recipes at Ambitious Kitchen are all about helping you be the best, most balanced, and confident person you can be. Sections for grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, vegan, and vegetarian recipes make finding what you want a cinch. At the same time, indulgent delights like Healthy Banana Oatmeal Pancakes and No-Bake Superfood Brownies deliver nutrient-packed ingredients without skimping on flavor. 

I Breathe I’m Hungry

The keto diet has taken the healthy eating world by storm with its high-fat, low-carb approach. At I Breathe I’m Hungry, you’ll find tons of delicious keto recipes like Keto Beef Stew and Cheesy Biscuit Crust and Keto Blueberry Muffins, plus meal plans and frequently asked questions to help you start the diet.

For more healthy recipes and resources, follow along with us on Instagram. We share fun recipes and inspiring posts weekly to help empower you to become your best self. 

4 Benefits of Living in an Apartment Complex

4 Benefits of Living in an Apartment Complex

There are many different reasons people choose to live in an apartment, from their lifestyle and the size of their family to their budget and where they work. But once that choice is made, they can choose to seek out an apartment on their own or move to an apartment complex or luxury apartment community. Here are four benefits to choosing the apartment community over the latter.

Community Events

Apartment communities regularly hold free events for the residents to socialize with their neighbors and participate in an entertaining activity without leaving their building. If you don’t live in an apartment complex and want to do something fun on a Friday night, you could head out to a restaurant or see if anything is happening in your neighborhood. But if you live in an apartment community, you may not need to do either of these things and instead have the opportunity to attend a fun event without even leaving your building. 

Free Amenities

In addition to one-off community events, apartment communities also offer numerous amenities that are free to residents. These include spaces and equipment that residents can utilize, such as lounges, business centers, and gyms, as well as recurring activities like group fitness classes or community karaoke nights. 

New Friends

It’s tough to make friends as an adult, especially in the current environment where socializing opportunities are limited. But in an apartment community, you have numerous opportunities to meet friends that could be just down the hallway! If your building offers community events or recurring activities like group fitness classes, this gives you the chance to interact with and hopefully form relationships with your neighbors. 

Supportive Community

Many people who live in apartment communities, especially in large metro areas, may have moved to that city independently. It can feel lonely and isolating to live in a big city with your family living somewhere else. But living in a luxury apartment complex is not isolating; in fact, everyone from the concierge to the property managers to the residents themselves come together to create a supportive, compassionate environment that people want to live in.

Power for Life Fitness can help you offer these benefits to your residents. For more information, contact us at info@powerforlifefitness.com.