52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for each week of the year.

CAN DO TIP Week #33: The Secret to your Rise is How You Plan Your Fall – Part 4

In this 6 part series I highlight simple steps you can take to eat more, weigh less, have more energy, and celebrate Mother Nature all at the same time! This week we’ll explore two of the city’s most exciting trails along with a deliciously healthy trail mix recipe you can take along the way!

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Inwood Hill Park (Difficulty: Moderate / Length: 2 miles) 

Location: Dyckman Street, Hudson River, Harlem River S, Manhattan

Want to take a selfie with a bald eagle? Inwood Hill Park is reportedly one of the best places to spot a bald eagle in the City, after the Urban Park Rangers launched a bald eagle release project in the park in 2002. The “prehistoric roots” in this park are still evident with its “dramatic caves, valleys and ridges left as the result of shifting glaciers” and Native American artifacts found in Inwood’s rock shelters. If you love trees like I do, take a stroll through Inwood’s forest grove of tulip trees, oaks, maples and the park’s oldest trees, “two cotton woods planted before the park was even established” according to nycgovparks.org. Activities include athletic fields, and the Hudson River Bike Trail.

Photo credit: Pexels

Forest Park (Yellow Trail) (Length: 1 mile)

Location: Myrtle Ave., Union Turnpike, Park Lane South bet. Brooklyn-Queens Line and park lane 

If you’ve ever wanted to go horseback riding, this park might be the place to do it. Horses can be hired from a private stable.  A series of small hills on this 165 acre piece of land has plenty of hiking trails and horse riding paths for the adventurer in you in addition to softball, baseball, and other sporting highlights.  

 Alley Pond Park 

Location: Little Neck Bay, L.I.E., Union Tpk, bet. Springfield Blvd., Douglaston Pkwy, Hanford St Queens

Alley Pond Park with its freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows, and forests support abundant bird life for the bird lover in you. Ask about the Alley Pond Park Adventure program; “a low–cost outdoor education and adventure program, which teaches participants how to canoe, use a compass, and how to fish.

[Source: nycgov.org/parks or Call 311 for more information.]

Trail Mix Recipe

Now that our walking trails are set, it’s time to order in the snacks. First, a bit of history. Bet you didn’t know that August 31st is actually known as National Trail Mix Day! Trail mix is also an easy to carry, easy to store snack food that provides a quick “healthy” boost of energy from carbs, proteins and fats.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted raw almonds

1 cup pecans

¾ cup dried cranberries

1 cup pumpkin seeds

¾ cup sunflower seeds

5 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup

½ teaspoon of coarse salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss until syrup is evenly distributed. Place mixture on a baking sheet in single layer. Bake, stirring several times with a spatula until golden about 20 minutes. Sprinkle salt while still hot. Let cool and store in a plastic container.

Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” is a Community Health Advocate, Fitness Therapist. Contact: Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com & Southbridgefitnesscenter.com

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