Archive for the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Category

3 Ways to Know if You Have a Fresh Fish

by Executive Chef Hicham Elmadi

Having access to fresh fish is a major perk living here on Hilton Head Island, SC; along with the beautiful weather and beaches. We’ll let you in on a little secret about fresh fish. There are 3 simple steps to check on how fresh your fish. As the Executive Chef of True Restaurant at Hilton Head Health, I use these 3 tips to make sure we always have the freshest possible catch to serve to our Guests.

Last week, we received a wild freshwater striped bass and prepared it the same day. It was a beauty! (And it tasted as good as it looked.)

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Sign 1: The Eyes

Check the eyes to ensure they are clear and bulging, not cloudy. If the eyes are sunken in, your fish may have been on ice more than it was in water.

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Sign 2: The Gills

The gills should be bright pink or red but never brown. Brown means that fish is definitely not fresh.

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Sign 3: The Fins

There should be a natural sliminess underneath the fins and they should be flexible, when you lift them up. Stay away from brittle, dry fins.

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Use these 3 simple tips to make sure you always enjoy the freshest fish at home. If you have questions about other seafood, leave your question in the comments or send an email to


Yoga Pose: Beginner Side Angle

Yoga promotes stress relief, improves mental clarity and more; and there are so many different yoga variations, almost anyone can practice yoga. Here at Hilton Head Health, our weekly schedule includes an array of yoga classes like: Restorative Yoga, Standing Yoga, Yoga in the Pool and other yoga options with our H3 Yogi Karen Verechia.

In honor of National Yoga Month, our Yogi Karen takes us through the Side Angle pose in the video below:

What’s your favorite yoga pose?


Why I Taught My Kids to Cook

The Routine

Wake up. Coffee. Lunches made. Quick breakfast…hopefully. Homework signed. Must catch the bus.

It’s a seasonal dance. School has started.

The End of Summer

We mourn the end of summer while craving routine. However, as the school routine begins to take shape, like a marching band shuffling into a recognizable form during halftime, we begin to realize what a precious commodity time becomes.

The school year ups the ante on parental job responsibilities. Casual summers give way to a never-ending taxi service to soccer, cheerleading, tennis, softball, and tutoring. After working all day, managing household responsibilities, picking up and dropping off multiple children for their sports practice of choice and then helping with mind-numbing homework, cooking dinner feels like climbing Mount Everest.

My feet hurt from this seasonal dance, so I did the unimaginable. I taught my kids how to cook. I can’t take credit for this brilliant idea (and it is brilliant.) My brother and sister-in-law clued me in.

The Brilliant Idea

This is how it went down. At a recent birthday celebration for my sister-in-law I couldn’t help but marvel at her impressive birthday cake. When I inquired about who made it I was told that her daughter, my niece Olivia, baked it. I was spellbound. My awe-inspired distraction continued as my brother furthered the conversation by telling me that he and his wife taught their children how to cook beginning at age ten and by age 12 both his children were responsible for cooking dinner one night a week.

I told you it was brilliant. This idea, teaching your children how to cook and then giving them meal preparation responsibilities, works on so many levels. It provides kids with a vital skill for ensuring a long-term, healthy relationship with food. It gives them a greater appreciation for fresh ingredients. It cultivates a palate that prefers healthy, homemade foods over fast and processed foods. Last, but not least, it offers much needed help to busy parents.

The Plan

Start by teaching your kids how to cook some of their favorite dishes and how to follow a recipe. Then provide them with new recipes they can try out as their cooking skills improve. Eventually, they will be willing to go it alone…creating their own culinary wonders.

We even have a simple recipe video to help you start your kids healthy cooking experience off the right way, with Peanut Butter Hummus.


Indulge Over Labor Day Weekend & Stay On Track

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Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It’s time to enjoy friends, family and food but sometimes that can be a recipe for disaster towards your healthy diet. Don’t fret here’s a few mindul tips from Bob Wright, Hilton Head Health Director of Education.

  • “Control the controllables.” Concentrate on what you’re personally accountable for to set yourself up for success.
  • Have a good balanced breakfast and maybe a healthy snack before the Labor Day buffet, this will help rein in hunger and empower you to make better food choices.
  • When you indulge, consume conscientiously. Eat treats mindfully. If you are going to have one, eat it slowly and savor every bite.
  • Have no say in what Auntie May whips up for the annual Labor Day feast? Don’t sweat it. If you don’t have as much control over the food choices, be sure to get a good workout in in the morning, and look for ways to stay more active during the weekend.

Find these tips and other tips to stay mindful while you indulge for the Labor Day Weekend on Eat This Not That.


Health and Nutrition Experts Weigh in on Weight Loss Myths

Our Health and Nutrition Experts weighed in on the weight loss myths and shared simple healthy lifestyle tips on Power Up Your Health with Ed Forteau. Hilton Head Health Director of Education Bob Wright and Registered Dietician Lindsay Martin talk about decreasing your plate size, why you should hide your danger foods, what to eat before/after a workout and more to help you on your weight loss journey. Plus, they shed some light on a few weight loss myths

Listen to all their health and weight loss tips from episode 31 here:

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Body Image Vs. Self-Esteem

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For most of us, carrying excess weight becomes a heavy burden on our self-esteem. We look in the mirror with self-loathing and the way we feel about our body slowly becomes the way we feel about ourselves.
I was reminded of this dynamic recently on an invigorating power walk. Pumping my arms and taking long enthusiastic strides along my favorite work-out route, Pit Bull blasted through my headphones. Passing a familiar home with a for-sale sign in the front yard I took notice of an addition to the sign that read, “I’m Beautiful Inside.” Wow, what a great reminder!

Body Image

As our body image takes shots at our self-esteem, we need to learn to fight back. Changing our body takes time, so some unsavory messages are bound to surface on occasion. It’s important that when that happens,

“we turn our attention to our inner strengths so that we don’t provide fertile ground for those negative messages to grow. Remembering that we are not our bodies, our bodies are where we live.”

What are the qualities contained within the body that you admire or love? What are things you love about yourself that have nothing to do with your body? For instance, I love my sense of humor, my compassion, my ability to be non-judging and accepting of others. Those are things that make me beautiful inside, just like the real estate sign says.

Inner Beauty

When we remind ourselves of our inner beauty, it makes us more accepting of our body and preserves our self-esteem. That’s really a win-win situation. You can love your body and still want to change it, but reminding yourself of some of your virtuous qualities makes it a lot easier to do.

Give it a try. Write down five things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your body for the next ten days straight. I guarantee that at the end of the ten days you will feel infinitely better about both yourself and your body!


4 Healthy Picnic Tips and Tricks

Summer is here and picnics are a fun summer staple for beach days, soccer games or a day at the park! Celebrating summer in the sun does not mean wreaking havoc on your nutrition for the day! Here are easy tweaks from our Healthy Kitchen that your friends and family will appreciate.

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Portion Control

Alcohol and desserts, for example, are two items we tend to over indulge in when living in the moment and basking in the sun. A little goes a long way, remember moderation when indulging. Try healthier desserts like, our great Lemon Bar recipe below; it’s lower in calories, full of flavor and travels well.

Fruits and Vegetables

Warm weather brings juicy flavorful fruits and vegetables, eat them! Fill your picnic basket with watermelon, cherries, zucchini, and peaches. Preparing tasty dishes with fruits and vegetables can be simple; make a fruit salad, add extra diced vegetables to your favorite potato salad, and pack a large salad topped with blueberries a pungent goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.

Turn up the Heat

Grilling is one of the most flavorful, healthful, and simple cooking methods. Toss ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and 1 cup of vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl, and grill until desired doneness. Adding a deep smoky flavor to vegetables such as peppers, onions, or mushrooms will add variety to your picnic. Don’t forget to grill some healthy proteins; brush these proteins with a little H3 BBQ to brighten up the flavor; salmon, shrimp, skinless chicken, or pork tenderloin.

Dips and Spreads

Edamame hummus, salsas, guacamole, peanut butter hummus, and yogurt based dips are great dips and spreads for a healthy pack and go picnic. Substitute these items for mayonnaise, ketchup, or cheese based dips to add nutrients, reduce calories, and load up on flavor. Eliminate chips for dipping, dip with vegetable sticks (carrots, bell peppers, celery) or whole wheat baked pita chips.

These little tweaks will make your next pack and go picnic easier and healthier. Don’t forget to pack lots of water and have a blast!

Lemon Bars


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½ cup Sugar, granulated

6 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted

4 Tablespoons Applesauce, unsweetened

2 cups Flour


6 each Eggs, large

1 ½ cups Sugar, granulated

4 teaspoons Lemon Zest, fresh

½ cup Lemon juice, fresh

6 tablespoons Flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

½ teaspoon Kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


  • Using a stand mixer, beat the ½ cup sugar, applesauce and butter together on a medium speed until creamy.
  • On a low speed, slowly add in the 2 cups of flour.
  • Gently press this mixture across the bottom of a greased 16 inch square baking pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.


  • In a clean mixing bowl, beat the 6 eggs on medium until foamy.
  • Then, add the remaining ingredients: sugar, zest, juice, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until all ingredients are blended.
  • Pour this filling over the crust and bake 20-25 minutes.
  • Set aside, cool and serve.


Serves: 30

Calories: 130

Fat: 3.5 grams


4 Healthy Tips to Simplify your Life

Staying on track with a healthy lifestyle is one of the most difficult tasks while trying to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Between trying to keep yourself motivated, find the best food to eat and manage your time; it can feel like you’ll never be able to get it all together.

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Thankfully, we’re sharing some of the healthy tips Andie Mitchell shared with our Guests during her Hilton Head Health visit. Andie, the bestselling author of It Was Me All Along, recently stayed with us and held 2 amazing lectures where she shared lessons from her own 135-pound weight loss journey.  These are 4 tips straight from Andie that will help you simplify your daily, healthy routine:

1. Replace the word motivate with discipline.

Kudos to those that can “motivate” themselves day after day to eat right and workout. But for most people motivation can become a pitfall. Replace motivation with discipline. With consistency & repetition, you can discipline yourself and get into a groove of working out, eating healthy and start feeling better about a healthier you.

2. Know yourself.

What type of workout(s) do you enjoy? Are you more likely to work out in the morning before work, at lunch or in the evening? Knowing your trigger foods and whether you can cut out things from your diet or if you’re better at eating in moderation are important. Knowing your personality, having a daily/weekly routine and sticking to it are monumental to creating you own healthy lifestyle.

3. Automate your meals. 

Delete all the little decisions so you can focus on more important details in your life. By having go-to meals and snacks each week (like 3-4 different breakfasts, lunches and dinners) you eliminate having to test your will power all day. You’ll be able to make better decisions without worrying about where to eat lunch, or if you should get an unhealthy snack out of a vending machine because you’re hungry.

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4. Eat like clockwork.

Schedule yourself to eat your meals and snacks around the same time each day. (This falls into discplining yourself.) Have each meal and your snacks within the same time frame to keep yourself fueled throughout your day. Have a backup plan ready if for some reason you can’t have lunch at your regular time because of a meeting or another event. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself if you don’t eat during at the time you planned. Just continue with the rest of your eating schedule as closly as you can so you don’t continue off your set track.

What is one lesson you’ve learned during your weight loss or healthy lifestyle journey? We’d love to know!


3 Healthy Father’s Day Gifts

When did Father’s Day become the official day of ties, toolbox sets and golf clubs? Let’s get away from the routine gifts this year. Dad deserves more for all that he does; he deserves something straight from the heart that says, “I love you.” Here’s 3 healthy gifts that your dad is sure to love:

1. Cook Dad a Delicious, Homemade, Healthy Meal: Encourage your dad to eat a little healthier by showing him that healthy food can taste yummy! Make your father feel special, prepare one of our Healthy Kitchen recipes. Try one of our favorites like our Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese and H3 Fudgy Brownie recipes.

2. Take Dad our for a Spa Day: Ok. We know that might not sound like the gift he wants but even Dad needs to be immersed in relaxation. Book him a massage or another treatment at a local spa. Luckily if you’re in the Beaufort County area, the Indigo Spa has massages, unique men’s facials services and men’s body treatments to relax and reinvigorate.

3. Gift Dad with a Healthy Adventure at H3: An exciting, healthy H3 adventure filled with nutritious, gourmet meals, kayaking and other fitness adventures and so much more are awaiting your dad in sunny Hilton Head Island, South Carolina! Imagine how much it means to truly give Dad the gift of better health.

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We’d love to know more about your dad. Share one of your favorite memories you have of your dad, stepdad or father figure.


3 Healthy Lifestyle Tips from Dr. Romie

We recently enjoyed an incredible, 2-day “Mindset Matters” Workshop led by Minfulness expert, Dr. Romila “Dr. Romie” Mushtaq! Our InSPArational Speaker, Dr. Romie’s workshop included a lecture discussing steps to help you conquer stress, revitalizing sunrise beach yoga and ended with a relaxing session of meditation. Because Dr. Romie shared such impactful information that can help anyone looking to improve their mind-body connection and their overall health, we’re sharing 3 of our favorite tips from the weekend workshop:

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1. Self compassion through self-care is not selfish! Think about all the roles you play: mom/dad, sister/brother, caretaker, student, therapist, house manager, etc. You have to take time and care for yourself to take care of others.

“When you give from a place of empty, you only hurt your mind and body.” – Dr. Romila

2. When you choose to forgive those around you, you choose to move on despite what may or may not have transpired. People that choose to hold onto past hurt for 12 months of longer are more likely to have a heart attack/stroke than someone with diabetes!

“We forgive ourselves when we forgive others.” – Dr. Romila

3. Practice 2o minutes of gratitude meditation could literally change your life. Take time out to be thankful for your life and everything in it. Within just 8 weeks, 20 minute meditation sessions can reshape how your brain responds to anxiety/stress and even help improve your memory!

Remember to breath and stay grateful! Learn more about our next InSPArational Speaker, Andie Mitchell, NY Times bestselling author of It Was Me All Along.


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