I’ve always liked to set goals. They give me a purpose and keep me motivated.

Most recently, I set a goal with two girlfriends to complete a century ride—100 miles on a bike. We participated in an organized event in Santa Fe, N.M., so there was support along the way, including food stops and sag wagons (in case you needed mechanical or other help). My friends and I put in a lot of training before the event, which helped greatly. After it was over, and we were celebrating with margaritas and New Mexican food, we all agreed that although we were excited and satisfied to have achieved our goal, it was the journey—the training and the camaraderie—that was the most enjoyable.

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Research shows that goal setting is really, really good for you. “Goals boost productivity and increase likelihood of success,” says Dr. James Rouse, a naturopathic doctor and personal coach. “They also help to improve optimism, focus, resilience and persistence. And studies show goals can improve our health and well-being, too.”

While the start of the New Year is the most common time to set goals, the summer season is a good halfway point to reassess those resolutions—and maybe set some new ones.

Have you been wanting to eat healthier? The bounty of fresh fruits and veggies in summer is a great catalyst. Start with our array of easy, nutrition-packed summer salad recipes, including Wild Rice and Summer Fruit and Mediterranean Spiralized Squash salads, using seasonal ingredients.

Speaking of seasonal, what’s more fresh and flavorful than juicy summer peaches? Use them in a colorful Southwestern Grilled Peach Salsa or a Peach Habanero Barbecue Sauce on Tempeh Ribs. You’ll be a hit at your next picnic with Peach Sushi Rolls.

And, of course, what is summer without grilling? We’ve come up with some delicious and nontraditional ideas, such as Red Curry Grilled Trout, Greek Chicken Meatballs, and Grilled Strawberries and Rhubarb Compote.

One of my favorite recipes in this issue is our nontraditional burger, made with caramelized onions, black beans, portobello mushrooms, and seeds and spices. Who says you need meat to make a good burger?

So why not set a goal over these next few months to expand your eating repertoire and incorporate at least three different, fresh summer fruits or veggies in your diet each day? One of my favorite ways to accomplish this: Combine some fruit (a banana, berries, a peach or nectarine) and veggies (greens like kale or romaine lettuce), an herb (I like cilantro), plus a pinch of seeds (try chia or flax) in a delicious smoothie. It’s a yummy way to get your goal on!

Rebecca Heaton, Editor

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