Food

4 Quick, Healthy Treats for Your Weekend Barbecue

It's officially summer and time to take advantage of those foods that are now "in season." Even though most people think of barbecue when they think of summer cookouts, there are quite a few summer dishes that are equally healthy and satisfying. Here are some of our favorites, all of which are sure to surprise and delight the rest of the guests. Plus, they are so fun and simple to make that the kids can even help! 

1.) Cucumber Sandwiches

For those of you who try to cut back on calories by avoiding bread, try this delicious substitute: cucumbers! Cucumbers are in season and make great mini sandwiches. Simply cut them into thin, round pieces, and put your choice of deli meats and cheeses in between. You can hold them together with a toothpick so that they don't fall apart upon transport. 

2.) Fruit Skewers

Most of you are used to chicken or shrimp skewers at a barbecue. Try substituting these heavier items with light, fresh fruits for a different summer treat! All you have to do is cut up your favorite fruits into 1-inch portions. Layer them onto a wooden barbecue skewer, alternating and creating a pattern for a nice aesthetic. We think that kiwi, watermelon, strawberries and grapes are really great for these! 

3.) Watermelon Pizza

Who knew watermelon could be this fun?! Create your very own watermelon pizza with your favorite fruits as a topping. The secret ingredient, otherwise known as your "sauce", is coconut yogurt (as shown in the image above). Like the other options, watermelon pizza really is what you make of it. Try different toppings to figure out your favorite combination. 

4.) Smoothie Popsicles

Freeze your smoothies in the summertime for a nice grab-and-go treat. It's also a great way to cool down on a hot day. And the best part: no added sugar like most store bought popsicles. Simply blend your favorite frozen fruits together with a little bit of water to create the base. Then pour your mixture into popsicle trays and freeze. You can get the trays off of Amazon or even at Target. The best part is that they are plastic, so they can be used time and time again! 


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Have You Heard of These Healthy Snacks?

If you're trying to lose weight or eat healthier, you're most likely focused on what you’re putting into your body for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But what about when those mid-day munchies arise? 

While a bag of chips from the nearest vending machine might be a quick fix, especially when you're at work, it's definitely not a healthy option. Just like you would prep your meals to ensure they meet your weight loss needs and goals, it's important to plan out your snacks! Here are a few that will keep you fueled, focused and most importantly—FIT!

APPLE NACHOS

This snack is made of four simple ingredients: apple slices, powdered peanut butter, cinnamon and dry muesli. Apple Nachos is a balanced snack that has a fix of protein and fiber. Just spread the peanut butter on the apple slice, sprinkle on some cinnamon and top it off with some dry muesli and your ready to go!

TUNA-STUFFED AVOCADO

According to author of Body Kindness Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D., the tuna and avocado duo is packed with protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to reduce inflammation and keep cholesterol in check. This is a good mid-day snack to keep you feeling full for longer.

MELON WITH HOT SAUCE

Sweet and hot? Trust me it tastes better than it sounds! This is a fantastic combo to indulge in. You are getting a sweet flavor and high-water and fiber content from the melon while receiving a pungent kick and added boost in your metabolism from the hot sauce. 

SPICED NUTS

Nuts are a great boost of energy. The best nuts to eat for weight loss are Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds pistachios, peanuts and cashews. Adding spice to your nut mixes like, for example, curry powder is not only good for flavor but also helps reduce inflammation and aids digestion.

POPCORN

Popcorn is healthy but it depends on what you accompany it with. That movie theater popcorn covered with thick layers of butter and salt is definitely not what we are talking about. However, instead of butter try sprinkling nutritional yeast on your popcorn at home. Popcorn is full of fiber and has few calories and by adding nutritional yeast you’re also adding a great source of vitamin B12. This vitamin helps boost metabolism and burn stored fat and calories. 


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Foods That Fight Inflammation

5 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural response to infection and injury. But it's not as terrible as you might think! Your body is actually bringing nutrients and immune cells to the inflamed area as a way of healing.
 
Ibuprofen is used to reduce common inflammations like headaches, toothaches, back pains or menstrual cramps. However, whole-body inflammation, which is a more chronic form of inflammation, is sometimes not cured as easily. Whole-body inflammation can form from arthritis, heart disease and certain kinds of cancer. 
 
If you are suffering from severe inflammation, choosing to eat anti-inflammatory foods can increase your daily comfort. Here are a few to work into your diet:
 
1. Foods High in Omega-3s
 
One cause of inflammation throughout the body is an imbalance in the consumption of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
 
Foods to try: salmon, avocados, nuts, trout, sardines and anchovies. 
 
2.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil contains a natural anti-inflammatory agent and may be partly responsible for the low levels of heart disease. Use it for cooking instead of butter or vegetable oil.
 
3. Antioxidant-Rich Foods
 
These include fruits (non-citrus) and vegetables. The more colors you eat, the better. Each color represents the presence of different health-promoting phytochemicals. 
 
Antioxidant-rich foods to try: strawberries, blueberries, cherries, plums, watermelon, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and sweet potatoes
 
4. Spices
 
Seasonings have anti-inflammatory properties, so they are a great choice to use when cooking. A little flavor will go a long way for your health!
 
Spices to always help in your pantry: ginger, garlic, cinnamon and turmeric
 
5. Green Tea
 
Green tea contains certain phytochemicals that help fight inflammation and preserve joints longer. However, studies suggest that consuming three to four cups a day would be needed to see benefits.


For more tips, tricks, and inspiration, visit us online and follow us via social media! To shop our performance enhancing supplements on Amazon, click here