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Doctor Lee's Blog

Musings from The Doctor of Fitness: Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Expert, & Sports Medicine Physician

The purpose of this blog is to write informally for anyone who is interested in fitness, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, sports medicine, and breaking fitness and nutrition news. If you'd like to reach me directly, you can contact me here. Feel free to take a look at my professional bio and my not-so-professional bio.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

on Tuesday, 13 August 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The sky is blue, the grass green and there’s a hint of fun on the late summer breeze. Sounds like the perfect day for a cookout, and what cookout would be complete without some good old-fashioned corn on the cob?

Everyone has their favorite way of serving this American summer tradition. Unless you’re planning on boiling it, most pros recommend cooking your corn in its husk to seal in its moisture and its flavor. Even then, you still have plenty of options. You can steam it, bake it, grill it or even microwave it.

If boiling is your way to go, why not try something different than just plain water? Using milk and butter in your cooking mixture can make the flavor really pop. If not, you can always add a little sugar. White corn will tend to cook faster— usually no more than 10 minutes— while bi-colored corn may take a little longer. As a rule of thumb, the fresher the corn, the more quickly it cooks.

Once it’s cooked, your options for eating it expand quite a bit. You can enjoy it plain, of course, or with butter, but why stop there? Mixing in a little chili powder into your butter can give your corn a little kick and some Old Bay seasoning might be perfect, especially if you’re serving crab or another type of seafood. You can even go international if you like. Try some of these toppings on for size.

If you’re worried about getting a little mess on that new summer shirt, don’t forget to invest in a pair of trusty corn holders.

Corn on the cob is a tradition that goes back centuries. Whether you eat it the old-fashioned way or want to spice it up with some modern takes, just make sure to enjoy.

Frozen Treats Make Great Eats

on Tuesday, 06 August 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

In the early part of the 20th century, the Popsicle made its debut. It was invented by Frank Epperson, and in the beginning it was known simply as the ‘Episicle.’ The name didn’t stick, but fortunately the Popsicle went on to fame and fortune. In fact, it’s hard to imagine summer without it. You can get them in a store, of course, but with a little home magic you can also create your own.

Sweet, refreshing and bursting with great summer color, you’ll want this frozen wonder on your honey-do list (or honeydew as the case may be.)

These chocolate and peanut butter creamsicles are easy to make and are a great alternative to just sticking a candy bar in the freezer.

If work or other responsibilities have grounded your tropical beach plans for the summer, these easy orange creamsicle pops may be the next best thing.

Popsicles are known for being sweet, but have you ever heard of one with a kick? Spicy mango-basil paletas may be the perfect popsicle pick-me-up.

Not all popsicles are for kids. If making all those great popsicle flavors has worn you down, take a moment to indulge yourself with a relaxing red wine variety.

There are tons of ways to enjoy this cool treat on a hot day. It not only cools you down, but you can make virtually any flavor or color under the sun. All you need is a freezer and a little imagination.

Summer Hydration

on Tuesday, 30 July 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s summer! The grass is green, the sun is bright and the air is warm. In fact the air is really warm. And that sun…

Yes, summer is a great time to get out and have some fun. It’s also easy to suffer from heatstroke if you’re not careful. Keeping yourself hydrated is your best defense, so here are some tips to make it happen:

Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Sure, there’s nothing more inviting than a cold beer on a hot day, but alcohol can leave you feeling more dehydrated, not less. The same goes for caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, meaning you’re going to be going to the bathroom more often and losing more fluids.

Check your urine. Sure, the color of your pee might not be the most exciting thing to think about, but the color can tell whether you’re becoming overheated. Urine should be pale yellow and clear. If it’s darker, you could be dehydrated.

Adjust your exercise routine. Working out is a great way to stay healthy, but make sure you take the conditions into account. Do your routine in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler. You can get more work in and inflict less stress on your body.

Drink lots of water. You already know that sweating is the body’s primary way of cooling itself and when you sweat you lose water. It may surprise you how much though. For example during a typical summer training workout, football players can lose as much as five pounds from sweating. Even if your plans for the day aren’t so rigorous, make sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent water breaks.

Summer is here, and there’s no reason not to hit the great outdoors. Use these tips to keep you going strong all season long.

Summer Vacation Series: Staycation Ideas

on Tuesday, 23 July 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

You’ve looked at the pictures of those cool mountain retreats and those beautiful beaches and decided they’re not for you. Maybe you have family obligations or a short bank account. Whatever the reason, it looks like you’re going nowhere this summer.

Bummer, right? Well it doesn’t have to be.

Visit local sights. When you’ve lived somewhere for any length of time, it’s easy to dismiss the local attractions. Don’t. Go out and see what your town has to offer. You might just be surprised.

Treat yourself. Staying home doesn’t mean you have to skimp on luxury. It’s a vacation after all. Eat out at that fancy restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Relax at the spa or spend a few afternoons at the golf course.

Have a home improvement party. A staycation is a perfect time to get those nagging home improvement projects finished, but who wants to spend their vacation covered in paint or plaster? Make it fun by inviting over your friends and family and turning the work into one big party. You’ll have a great time and get something done. What’s not to like?

Take a class. The nice thing about a staycation is you have some time to do exactly what you want. Try a painting class or go horseback riding. Take up tennis or hone your knitting skills in new ways. Whatever you passion, use the time to expand your interests.

They say fun is where you find it. So if your summer travel plans don’t involve any traveling at all, don’t fret. Enjoy it.  And when all is said and done, you may find that you don’t need a vacation from your vacation like so many other travelers.

Summer Vacation Series: State and National Parks

on Tuesday, 16 July 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

From deserts and plains to mountain and beaches, the USA has it all. It also has a well-developed system of national and state parks that make seeing all that natural diversity cheap and easy. You’ve heard of famous parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon of course, but there are plenty of others that are worth your time, even if some of them are a little off the beaten track.

Lassen Volcanic. With most national parks you might expect beautiful vistas and lush scenery. While California’s Lassen Volcanic has these things in abundance is also has its own charms— namely bubbling mud, pools of boiling water and volcanic vents galore.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon. This park, also located in California, is the alternative to its better-known sister, Sequoia National Park— great for when you want the sequoias without all the crowds. It also has impressive granite water walls, awesome hiking trails and plenty of wildlife.

Crater Lake. Even though it’s the deepest freshwater lake in America, Crater Lake isn’t a lake in the traditional sense. Instead it’s the collapsed caldera of an ancient volcano. In the center of the lake sits Wizard Island. The park boasts spectacular views and some of the most unique scenery in the world.

Dry Tortugas National Park. If you’re in the Florida Keys and want a beach all to yourself, there’s no better place than Dry Tortugas. It’s only accessible by boat, but it has plenty of blue waters and exquisite coral reefs to make it worth the trek.

Mammoth Cave. Not all of nature’s most impressive works are above ground. Living up to its name, Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave has the world’s longest cave system with spectacular natural formations over 200 feet below the surface.

If you want to truly experience the natural diversity America has to offer, national and state parks are a great place to start. Make them part of your travel plans this year and get ready for awesome!

Summer Vacation Series: Active Vacation Options

on Tuesday, 09 July 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Let the summer slip by? Not on your life! No, for you a vacation is the perfect time to take on new challenges and push yourself to the limits. And with ‘active vacations’ becoming more popular, your options are better than ever. Here are just a few ideas.

Kayaking/ Canoeing. Whether you’re leisurely floating down a lazy river enjoying the scenery from an angle you’ve never seen before, or facing off against a roaring torrent of whitewater, kayaking and canoeing can be an addictive and surprisingly affordable pastime.

Horseback riding. Ever wonder how cowboys made do without four wheels and power steering? Find out by grabbing your trusty saddle and hittin’ the dusty trail. Horseback riding weekends and camps are available in many areas and can give you a different perspective on getting from point A to point B.

Surfing. Why let the Beach Boys have all the fun? Surfing is challenging at first, but when you do ‘hang ten’, it’ll be that much sweeter. Surfing camps and classes are available at many beaches with a reputation for good waves, and they’re the perfect way to get some exercise while still enjoying all the amenities a beach vacation has to offer.

Mountain climbing. If you’ve always wanted to try being Lara Croft, then a climbing or rappelling vacation might be just the thing for you. There are plenty of camps and adventure weekends that will teach you the basics before turning you loose on more difficult climbs.

If you have family and friends coming along, it might be good to pick a location that has a variety of things to do. An active vacation isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for those who believe relaxing on a cool mountain top or soaking in the summer rays is a lot more fun after you’ve worked up a good sweat.

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