If the summer heat zaps your energy and your appetite, you’re not alone. Our bodies process food at a slower rate when it’s hot, meaning we aren’t as hungry as usual. As well, the brain is trying to regulate all of the processes that keep our bodies cool and just doesn’t prioritize the appetite like it usually does.
When you need to eat but don’t quite feel like it, or just need some lighter bites that feel as refreshing as they are filling, give these quick, easy, summer recipes a try.
A little red onion and lime juice really punch up the bright, easy flavors in this side that serves just as well as a full lunch.
Makes enough for one or to serve a crowd and pairs with almost anything you plan to eat this summer. Blue corn chips and a bowl of guac make a pretty satisfying lite summer dinner.
Especially if you like to meal plan or prep meals ahead of time, this big salad will be a staple in your lite bite rotation.
The best flavors of summer come together in this fresh, light salad that goes perfectly on the side of just about anything or as a main entree salad that won’t leave you stuffed.
You likely already have these ingredients on-hand and the fives minutes to blend them up into something surprisingly refreshing and satisfying. The suggested toppings max out the yum factor!
On those days when you can’t bare to heat up the kitchen, this delightful combo of sweet shrimp and tart grapefruit can’t be beat.
Summer heat or not, you’ll want to eat this little finger food with your eyes. We love the creamy texture and crisp crunch of all these veggies rolled up in a tender tortilla. Lunch and dinner are served!
The flavors inherent to summer are some of the lightest and healthiest you can have all year, and every one of these recipes celebrate that. What’s your favorite way to nosh when the temperatures are unbearable outside?
For as much as new Dutchess Meghan Markle loves Prince Harry, there’s still room in her American heart for almonds. She’s a big fan of the tasty little teardrop-shaped nut and has been since she was on the Suits’ red carpet. She credits almonds with giving her a healthy energy boost, something she’ll no doubt need in the days and years ahead to sustain all of her commitments.
Almonds pack a mighty punch of good nutritional juju in a tiny little package. Eyeballing a 23-piece serving of almonds is a perfect daily snack to boost your mid-day slump, pre-game your workout, or take the edge off the munchies.
Full of the healthy fats, fiber, and protein our busy bodies need, almonds also offer a generous dose of vitamin E. They’re one of the best food sources for vitamin E, followed (not closely) by avocado, rainbow trout, red sweet peppers, and mango. The vitamin E nourishes skin, prevents the cells from oxidizing, and protects it from the sun’s UV rays.
Sure, a royal wedding would make anyone’s skin glow, but dietitians credit some of the Duchess’s fresh-faced complexion to the little nut.
Whether for good skin, a healthy snack, or to live vicariously through the newest royal, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy almonds!
Justin’s Almond Butter Cups
Leave the peanut butter cups to the peasants because this new treat is good enough to be knighted! And soon, Justin’s will scandalize the nut butter world with jars of Cinnamon Almond Butter.
Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds
The Tower of London might be the only place these yummy little bites would be safe from our grasp! Just a hint of natural sweetness in a layer of dark chocolate wraps these almonds for both satisfying taste and texture.
Califia Farms Almond Milk
Pinkies out if you’re going to sip an almond milk this fine! Their chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and classic almond milks are decadently creamy on their own, or the perfect addition to tea time and summer smoothies.
Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt
Now just hold your royal horses! Super silky, dairy-free yogurt in flavors like key lime, pineapple, blueberry, strawberry and caramel sounds like something you could only eat with a silver spoon. So it’s cool that it’s available to commoners like us at Target, Whole Foods, Publix, and Sprouts.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat every day?
The answer could leave a lot of room for improvement for your overall health.
1 in 10 adults don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables…. NINETY PERCENT of U.S. adults! We hope you aren’t in that group, but if you are, we want to help you join the ten percent.
The USDA’s MyPlate program recommends about 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. It’s really not as intense as you might think: one solid smoothie at breakfast, soup instead of chips at lunch, and a big salad at dinner would just about cover you.
We know these plant-based foods provide our body with essential nutrients, including fiber, and do a lot to stave off chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. But until recently, scientists could’t exactly pinpoint the deeper value of that fiber. When you know better, do better, as Maya Angelou said, and armed with some fresh studies on the subject, we should all aim to do better here!
These studies have found that dietary fiber feeds the billions of bacteria living in our guts, our microbiome. They actually eat the fiber before our bodies absorb what’s left. This keeps the bacteria, our intestines, and our immune systems happy, and when they’re happy our whole mind and body is happy. (After all, some 95% of serotonin, the happiness chemical, is produced in the stomach.)
When the mouse subjects in these studies followed a low-fiber/high-fat diet, that bacteria population crashed and shrunk. When fiber was introduced to this high-fat diet, they showed weight loss and a healthier bacteria population.
What scientists have discovered is that our bodies need a variety of dietary fiber to feed the many types of gut bacteria. And when we do that, the ecosystem in our stomachs remains balanced, our immune systems are stronger and our bodies have less inflammation and disease, and more energy!
Best Dietary Fiber Sources
You won’t need supplements if you can just add these naturally fibrous foods to your diet. Reach your fiber goals and fruit and vegetable goals all in one bite!
- Brussels sprouts
- Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans
- Apples (with skin)
- Pears (with skin)
- Brown Rice
- Pearled Barley
- Whole grain pasta and bread
What's your favorite source of fiber?
What are you eating before and after your workouts? If you’re sick or sluggish during the workout, then it wasn’t the right pre-sweat snack. And if you’re exhausted or slow to recover after a workout, you’re definitely not re-fueling properly.
This matters, so listen up.
First of all, the pre- and post-workout snacks are different beasts fueling very different ends of the workout spectrum. Treat them differently.
The pre-workout snack has two very important jobs: to give you adequate energy from the moment your workout starts and to jump start your body’s recovery efforts so you feel really good tomorrow. This snack should be simple and something your body can digest quickly. It should not be a big meal, you’ll be too full/bloated/gassy, nor should it be a fast-burning carb, like sugar, or you’ll fade out in the middle of the workout.
About 1-2 hours before you hit the gym, track, or studio, pre-game with one of these optimally-paired fast protein/moderate carb snacks:
- Protein bar that’s low sugar, low fat
- 8 oz. skim milk with a banana
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Smoothie with whey protein and fresh berries
- String cheese and a small apple
- Slice of turkey with a few low-fiber crackers
- Egg whites and white rice
The post-workout snack should also not be missed, and should be consumed as close to the end of your workout as you can manage. This is all about recovery, which is why lean protein (and a little bit of sugar) is the name of the game. The protein restores all that spent energy so you aren’t dragging the rest of the day, but it also repairs the muscles you just beat up.
This is where you start to build muscle and develop that toned look...rip the muscle while lifting, repair with protein, rip, repair, rinse repeat!
- Chocolate milk
- Whey protein added to your favorite sport drink
- Turkey, cheese, apples
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter on whole grain crackers
- Cottage cheese with berries
- Add avocado to scrambled eggs or in a smoothie
Ahhhh the holidays! That tradition-fueled time of year chock full of hot cocoa, snowflakes, gift wrap, merry songs, cookies, and cauliflower. Wait, what?
The vegetable has wildly increased in popularity during the past five years, when foodies and conscious eaters alike started swapping out potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and other carbs for the versatile plant. And because of the promotion of more and more keto success stories, cauliflower’s popularity isn’t going dormant anytime soon.
With holiday tables typically filled to the brim with every delicious carb and starch imaginable, it stands to reason that cauliflower, a member of the same family as broccoli, brussels, cabbage, and kale, will stand in for the usual stuffing, yams, and pastas.
A full medium head of cauliflower has only 146 calories, half of your daily need of potassium, and a whopping 12 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein! You probably don’t need to eat an entire head of cauliflower at once, but the point is, it’s a lean, mean carb-fighting machine that weighs in pretty worry-free when you’ve got a hankering for mac, waffles, or stuffing.
Why has cauliflower become such a versatile and popular ingredient? The neutral flavor and starch level is really beneficial to replacing all of the carby deliciousness, explained Marisa, recipe developer at UprootKitchen.com. When you steam or sautee and blend, you achieve the same creaminess.
She made a few recommendations for those trying to up their cauliflower game, or get started:
The pureed cauliflower can substitute for half & half.
Add olive oil or butter if the cauliflower lacks the mouthfeel you would have gotten from, say, mashed potatoes.
Don’t be afraid to add fat! Especially if you’re already substituting to reduce carbs but want to feel just as filled and satisfied.
- The neutral flavor/taste makes it easy to dress up anyway you like. Try adding fresh herbs or roasted garlic.
How to Substitute Cauliflower in Your Holiday Recipes
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese https://www.ruled.me/cauliflower-mac-cheese/
Olive Oil, Garlic, Romano Mashed Cauliflower http://faithfulnessfarm.blogspot.com/2013/01/olive-oil-garlic-romano-cheese-mashed.html
PARTY SMALL BITES
Baked Cauliflower Tots http://www.nothankstocake.com/2015/03/03/baked-cauliflower-tots/
Buffalo Cauliflower http://www.nothankstocake.com/2016/01/21/roasted-frozen-buffalo-cauliflower/
Everything Bagel Cauliflower Rolls https://lexiscleankitchen.com/everything-bagel-cauliflower-rolls/
Cauliflower Mushroom Kugel http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/cauliflower-mushroom-kugel-recipe/
After a day of roasting by the pool, the last thing you want to feel on your face is scorching oven heat. It’s already tough enough to keep up with air conditioning bills without worrying about a 400 degree oven.
You may be looking for a poolside treat or something to bake while you’re quarantined from UV rays after your first brutal summer sunburn. Regardless, try these no bake options before you pull out the oven mitts.
Brownie bites. These bites do the impossible by making a vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free way to have a quick, healthy dessert. They’re also easy to pack up on-the-go if you’re taking them to a party or event.
No bake cookies. Retaining the traditional no bake ingredients of peanut butter, chocolate, and oatmeal, these cookies make a name for themselves by staying delicious without sugar.
Cheesecake. When it comes to cheesecakes, you’ve usually got to sacrifice either time or healthiness. However, this no bake recipe balances both by using low-fat cream cheese and thick Greek yogurt. The result is a 15-minute, lower calorie, mouthwatering dessert.
Apple crumble. Rocking the underappreciated healthy fats, this is a unique crumble because it’s not baked. It’s also full of more fiber and protein than the average crumble, and these nutrients will ensure you’ve got the energy to really enjoy a summer day.
Raspberry fool. This lesser known dessert is a changeup on a traditional English favorite. Using yogurt instead of whipped cream, it’ll taste about the same, and it’s loaded with antioxidants and probiotics.
Cannoli cream pie cups. These cannolis are proof that any desserts can be healthy with a little mindfulness about the ingredients. Low-fat ricotta cheese, light Cool Whip, and mini fillo shells instead of a deep fried cannoli shell bump the calories down a few notches. Use fruit instead of chocolate chips if you want it go even further. Using blueberries and strawberries could also make it the perfect last-minute Labor Day party snack.
Frozen fruit pops. These pops are easy for kids to eat and nostalgic for adults while remaining healthy and fresh. They’re also pretty much entirely made of fruit and only about 32 calories. If you’ve got a long day at the pool planned, this boost will keep your blood sugar going strong.
If you’ve ever tried to donate blood or even gotten your blood tested at a doctor’s appointment, you might’ve received a mundane warning about how low your iron levels are. You may shrug it off, but a World Health Organization (WHO) report claims that iron deficiency is a global issue due to the fact that 80 percent of people don’t have enough iron.
Every time you take a breath, you’re using the iron in your red blood cells to move oxygen from your lungs through your body. If you’re lacking iron, you’re lacking oxygen, meaning that beginner’s yoga class is going to leave you winded, regardless of how fit you are.
While men only need about 10 mg of iron every day, menstruating women should be taking in at least 15 mg. This level is tougher for women to achieve than men. Periods cause women’s iron levels to plummet, explaining why around 1 in 5 women of childbearing age are iron deficient.
Our dieting culture has even taken a shot at our iron levels, pushing eating habits that make it tough to reach that daily iron goal. If you’re following a low-fat diet, you’re probably missing out on the biggest iron-rich foods-- meat. Do your iron levels a favor and order a side of bacon with your next Sunday brunch.
People may turn immediately to iron-rich vegetables in order to avoid high-fat meat. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but it’s important to know that there are two types of iron--heme and non-heme. Plants mostly contain non-heme iron while meat has about 40-45 percent heme iron, especially red meat. Our bodies absorb heme iron much more easily than non-heme, making it the best source of iron for the dietary deficient.
Most supplements contain non-heme iron, making a juicy burger a staple of your new weekly meal prep. For vegans and vegetarians, be sure to eat extra helpings of iron-rich veggies. Too much fiber also slows your body’s iron absorption, meaning you’ll need to throw back even more of those high-fat options to meet your iron requirements.
There’s no blanket solution for iron deficient women. If you’re a meat eater, treat yourself to a steak or Taco Tuesday a little more often. Vegetarians and vegans, pile that plate with extra servings of, you guessed it, kale.
Following the infamous kale veggie fad, cauliflower is the new vegetable dancing onto millennials’ plates. As if it were a fashion trend, numerous news sources have reported on the surge of cauliflower popularity. This mirrors the obsession that everyone had with the kale trend, making us wonder if cauliflower’s popularity was planted in a similarly mysterious way.
Regardless of its origins, recipe websites and veggie consumers everywhere seem to be embracing the cauliflower renaissance. Browsing #cauliflower on Instagram will fill your phone with glamour shots of the white, fluffy vegetable that you never knew you needed to see. Not only does a side of roasted cauliflower light up social media food pics, it3’s also a great substitute for rice, bread, and even steak. If you’re counting calories, cauliflower gives you significant leeway to replace carbs. It’s also easier to get full on about 200 calories by eating a large head of cauliflower as opposed to 5 ounces of pasta.
So, if cauliflower is really that nutrient dense and low calorie, why is it just now gaining so much attention? Kale demanded the spotlight from around 2012 to now, leaving little room for other foods to cut in. We also tend to assume that green veggies like kale are healthierfor us, making cauliflower’s white blooms seem like an inferior choice. However, cauliflower does the same things that most superfoods brag about -- boosting cardio health, decreasing cancer risks, and helping brain health.
While some may claim that cauliflower is the new kale, technically they both come from the same type of plant, so this statement is a little redundant. Despite its new presence on the superfood scene, cauliflower is actually a part of the Brassica oleracea species that’s brought fame to veggie stars like kale, brussel sprouts, and collard greens. Considering the health benefits that doctors and blogs raveabout, we’re pretty sure that roasting a bundle of the Brassica oleracea foods would give you superhuman abilities.
If there’s anything to gain from the ever-changing superfood hierarchy, it’s the knowledge that there’s always another too-good-to-be-true vegetable around the corner. Do some light research, and you could beat the foodies to the next trend.
With traditional restaurants in financial turmoil over falling grocery prices and the increase of delivery food startups, 2017 promises big changes at multiple levels of food consumption and production.
Wholesale prices of meat, chicken, eggs, and other popular grocery store items nosedived from 2015 to 2016, and they’re unlikely to go anywhere but down in 2017. This will further shift consumers towards preparing meals at home, where they can now conveniently order their ingredients online or pick them up from the store for significantly cheaper prices.
Upcoming trends for 2017 reflect this change, yet also continue to reveal peculiarities in our appetites.
- Mindful comfort food. Veganism and vegetarianism continue to evolve, and are no longer resigned to ordering salads when they go out. A slew of comfort food restaurants have opened to answer the call of delicious yet conscientious food in these communities. Look for foods like cashew mac and cheese, squash alternatives to pasta, and veggie-based crusts for pizza.
- Flexitarianism. Along with a new era of vegetarianism comes a new approach to the practice. Flexitarians create their own schedule of meat consumption, allowing themselves to indulge as often as weekends or as little as five days of the year.
- The call of the carnivore. Meat-eaters will find their own renaissance in 2017-- embracing classic butcher shops, new sources of protein, and more aggressive cooking methods. Get ready for charred, smoky venison as opposed to the typical, rare beef steak.
- Robust breakfast. The widespread acceptance of brunch has slowly edged out the soft, sweet breakfasts of the past. 2017’s morning plates will be packed with high-protein and rough textures. Think fried chicken surrounded by crispy chorizo.
- Gourmet ice cream. Decadent shakes and ice cream rollups populate 2017’s dessert scene. Crammed with candy and every topping imaginable, next year’s cones will be piled high. Additionally, ice cream rollups made of extremely thin layers of liquid ice cream rolled into cylinders will be a sought-after aesthetic.