a special feature from Debra Orringer, Clinical Exercise Physiologist

With summer here, the days are warmer, longer and…lazier. Enjoy all this season has to offer, but don’t get trapped in that “school’s out!” mentality.  There are so many ways to nutritionally improve and sustain our health without even noticing that we are making an effort, and yes, you can do it.

First and foremost – get your tushy outside!  Enjoy the fresh breeze, the songs from the birds and the smell of fresh mowed lawns while going for a walk.  In addition to getting your vitamin D from the sun, any stress level you feel will soar with the clouds.

Of course, wear your sunscreen and maybe a fabulous floppy hat. Protect yourself against those UV rays. When shopping for sunscreen, look for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, which is awarded to sun protective products that meet stringent criteria for safety and effectiveness.

Drinking water is essential to health. Our bodies are almost 3/4 water and in the warmer, summer months we are more prone to dehydration. Let’s nip that in the bud. Water can also help our digestion, regulating internal body temperature and providing a protective structural mechanism around the organs and joints.

During the summer months we tend to entertain more. So, here are a few of my favorite recipes just perfect for the summer. They are refreshing and chocked full of our essential daily nutrients.  Dig in! (in moderation of course)

Arugula-Peach Salad with Pistachios


1/4 cup unsalted natural pistachios
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely minced basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups packed baby arugula leaves
1/2 of a small red onion, very thinly sliced crosswise into rings
2 large, firm peaches, pitted, cut into quarters, and thinly sliced crosswise

1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and toast pistachios for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant (eliminate this step for a raw foods diet). Set aside to cool. Whisk together vinegar, shallot and basil in a small bowl. Whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Combine arugula, onions and peaches in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to mix. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, divide between four individual plates, top with pistachios, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Honey-Glazed Salmon with Sesame Greens


3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari  (optional)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 six-ounce salmon fillets, washed and patted dry
1 large head curly kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
4 scallions, very thinly sliced (white and pale green parts)

1. Preheat oven broiler to high and place rack in middle position.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, tamari and pressed garlic. Hold grated ginger over the bowl and squeeze firmly to extract juice into bowl. Discard ginger pulp. Add red pepper flakes, stir to mix well, and season with white pepper and additional tamari, if needed.

2. Coat the bottom of a small glass casserole with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Arrange salmon fillets in pan and spoon honey mixture over each fillet. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes, if time permits.

3. Broil salmon for 5 minutes, basting twice during broiling. Cover pan loosely with foil, increase heat to 400 degrees F, and continue cooking until fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes longer.

4. While salmon is cooking, in a large sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sauté greens until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper.

5. To serve, remove fish from oven and transfer fillets to individual serving plates. Arrange kale beside each fillet. Sprinkle fish with scallions, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Mango-Mint Fool

2 cups fresh mango cubes, about 2 large mangos (substitute frozen mango)
2 to 4 tablespoons honey or agave
1 large lime, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 cup organic Greek yogurt
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

1. Combine mango, 2 tablespoons of the honey, lime juice and mint in a food processor or blender. Process into a very coarse purée, leaving large chunks. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in yogurt, adding remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or agave if needed.

2. To serve, divide between 4 individual serving dishes, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving, or freeze for 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh mint, and serve. Serves 4.

*Debra Orringer, MS from Naples, FL, is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with 20 years in the fitness industry. She has managed the wellness programs at the Kennedy Space Center as well as consulted for several national fitness companies, authored articles, and retains a myriad of advanced level certifications. Debra works as a Wellness Coach for Isagenix. For further comments you can contact Deb directly.