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Add some Hawaiian fun to your summer activities

With summer approaching quickly, you’re probably dreaming about all the fun you’ll have gathering with friends and family. You could be planning the traditional activities like going to the pool, hosting backyard barbecues or picnicking in the park, but why not spice things up by adding a little island culture to your plans?

In Hawaii, visitors and residents of the islands enjoy surfing and hula dancing in honor of the state’s iconic history. While much of the mainland United States doesn’t have surfing options, you could always incorporate a little Hawaiian flavor and healthy living activities into your summer.

Chelsie Hightower, the Emmy-nominated professional dancer from the hit show “Dancing with the Stars,” provides some easy fitness tips and healthy lifestyle activities you can bring into your family’s summer gatherings, with a bit of island culture added in as well:

* Instead of a barbecue, plan a luau, complete with music, flowers and of course, the food. For table decorations, floral sarongs or fishnets would work well. Silk flowers – or fresh, imported Hawaiian flowers – draped over railing posts, chair backs, doorways and the necks of your guests will help to enhance your luau theme. Load Hawaiian music into your sound system to get everyone up and dancing. And make sure you highlight the luau theme with tasty and healthy Hawaiian dishes like Mango-Maui-Guava Salsa served on low-calorie, low-fat Old London Melba Toast made with all-natural ingredients and whole grains.

Mango-Maui-Guava Salsa

2 cups thawed frozen mango chunks, diced
1 cup thawed frozen guava or 2 cups kiwi chunks, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced (add to taste)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
Juice of one lime
1 box Old London Melba Toast Whole Grain or Spicy 3 Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with Melba Toast.

Find more delicious recipes at www.oldlondonfoods.com/recipes.php.

* Sign up for Polynesian dancing lessons. If you are unable to find Polynesian classes, many dance studios offer other options such as belly dancing or flamenco. These classes will not only provide great exercise, they will also give you the opportunity to learn more about another culture.

* In Hawaii, a popular tourist activity is biking down Haleakala volcano during sunrise. And many tourists will go a step further and explore the rain forests and beautiful scenic ocean views with mountain- and road-biking tours. While you may not have a rainforest-covered volcano in your neighborhood, chances are you have some beautiful scenic roads through shady woods or even fields of corn that your family can explore and enjoy on a bike.

If you’re ready to get away and visit the Aloha State, you could win a trip through the “Aloha Old London” Sweepstakes. Old London will send one lucky winner and a guest on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Oahu, Hawaii. While soaking up the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine, experience everything this tropical paradise has to offer with surfing lessons, dinner for two at Tropics Bar and Grill, spa services at the Hawaiian Lomilomi Massage at Mandara Spa, private cooking lessons at the Chef Mavro restaurant and two Alii Luau packages at the Polynesian Cultural Center with admission to “PCC, Alii Luau and Ha: Breath of Life” evening show. The four-day, three-night, all-expenses-paid experience also includes air travel and accommodations at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa. Visit www.Facebook.com/OldLondonFoods to learn more about the sweepstakes and enter to win.

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