Who Says Soup Is Only For Winter?

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Most people associate soup with cuddling in a warm blanket by the fire, while snow is falling outside. However, soups are not just for winter! Not only are soups easy to make, especially during busy summer months, but summer is the time of fresh vegetables meaning that there are so many delicious soups to be enjoyed. Try some of my favorite healthy summer soups below:

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Zucchini & Yellow Squash Soup with Rosemary & Parmesan

The Beautiful Balance: Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder

Petit World Citizen: Two Melons Soup

Kitchen Treaty: Spicy Chili Verde with White Beans

Kitchn: Summer Vegetable Soup with Rice

Is Your Dog Cut Out to be Your Running Partner?

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All dogs love to run. Some more than others and not all for the same length of time or distance. Some breeds were born to run, huskies and greyhounds, while others consider a good run a sprint down the hall and back, pugs and bulldogs. Before running with your dog, it is best to know their breed’s limits and help your dog ease into it by developing a running program. Check out the resources from Runner’s World below:

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-with-dogs/the-best-types-of-dogs-for-runners

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-with-dogs/the-perfect-running-program-for-your-dog

http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/running-with-dogs

Skinny Summer Cocktails

A photo by Jez Timms. unsplash.com/photos/b8se0pUeaA0

Whether lounging by the pool or socializing at a summer BBQ, it’s not truly summer unless you have an ice cold beverage in your hand. However, with the average serving of alcohol containing 115 calories before the mixers are added, your calories can add up quickly. You could think well I’ll just drink fewer cocktails, but make them stronger. While that is a sly idea, the higher the proof, the greater the calories. But don’t fret, try some of Skinnygirl‘s guilt-free yet still delicious, skinny summer cocktails all under 150 calories per drink:

Sea Breeze

1 3/4 oz Skinnygirl bare naked vodka
3 oz cranberry juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 slice of grapefruit, to garnish

Golden Mountain Sangria

1 bottle Skinnygirl sangria
2 apples, sliced into wedges
3/4 C blackberries

Sunrise

1 oz Skinnygirl island coconut vodka
1 oz strawberry Schapps
1 strawberry, thinly sliced
1 splash seltzer
1 pineapple slice, to garnish

Keystone Belle

1 oz Skinnygirl Piña Colada
1 oz Skinnygirl margarita
1 oz apple juice
1 apple wedge, to garnish

Cucumber Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Skinnygirl cucumber vodka
3 oz soda water

 

Food is Medicine

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Our taste buds often guide us when choosing the foods we eat. However, food is more than tasty; it is medicine. Food scientists have proven that there are a variety of medicinal benefits to certain foods. Certain foods can work to improve almost every disease. Check out some of them below:

 

Cancer Risk Reduction

  • Cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts) reduce the risk of several types of cancers
  • Tomato products may reduce the risk for prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreatic cancers
  • Citrus fruits may reduce the risk of stomach cancer

Heart Health

  • Dark chocolate reduce high blood pressure
  • Tree nuts (i.e. cashews, almonds, pecans) and peanuts reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death

Intestinal Health Maintenance

  • Fermented dairy products (i.e. kefir, yogurt, cheese) may reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

Urinary Tract Function

  • Cranberry juice reduces bacterial concentrations in the urine

No Flour Black Bean Brownies

Happy #tastythursday! Today, I wanted to highlight my favorite dessert guru, Chocolate Covered Katie. She has been named the Queen of Healthy Desserts by Glamour Magazine for her delicious yet healthy sweet creations.

One of my favorite recipes is her favorite black bean brownies! It sounds weird at first, but trust me when I say they are absolutely amazing! Enjoy!

No Flour Black Bean Brownies

Servings: 9-12 brownies

black-bean-brownie

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup chocolate chips, depending on taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  5. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will firm up.

From Waste to Taste

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Stalks, stems, and peels often do not get the love they desire. However these “scraps” are not meant for the garbage can, as they are packed with nutrients and flavor. Try some of the creative ways below to utilize these often wasted items to create tasty creations:

  • Broccoli Stalks – shred into salad or slaw, puree into soup or sauce, roast or steam for a side dish, or toss into stock
  • Carrot & Fennel Fronds – ground with nuts, garlic, and cheese or olive oil to make pesto
  • Celery Leaves – use in soups and salads
  • Citrus Peels – zest them to season sweet or savory dishes, candy them to create a fruity treat, dry the peels for tea, or steep fresh peels into sprits
  • Kale Stems – blanch and sauté in stir-fry
  • Leeks Tops – julienne and sauté for a topping to salads and soups or add to stock
  • Watermelon Rinds – pickle them to create a delicious snack

How to Deskercise

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We all know that exercise is important. However, most of us spend the majority of our days sitting from riding in the car to sitting at the office to relaxing on the couch. Recent research suggests that physical inactivity is the second leading single cause of death in the United States trailing only tobacco use. While sedentary behaviors may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing physical activity has been shown to lessen these risks significantly. Try these simple deskercises, or desk exercises, at work to increase your movement through the day:

https://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work