Hydrate with Food

All we hear during the summer months is “Stay hydrated!” So we automatically assume to grab a glass or a bottle of water and start chugging. Well we don’t just have to drink to stay hydrated, we can eat too (yes!) No more feeling water bloated (and having to run to the bathroom all the time) this summer to just stay hydrated! Let’s look into the top 5 hydration foods to add to our everyday meals.

Cucumbers Cucumber_and_cross_section

This summer veggie has a 96.7% water content. Add cucumbers to a salad, puree it with a non-fat yogurt with some herbs and make a cucumber soon, or just dunk them in your favorite hummus. Simply adding cucumbers to a meal will help you keep hydrated.

CeleryCelery-Stalks

This stalk packs in fiber, folate, Vitamin A, C and K. 95.4% water content, celery can help us all keep hydrated when we are sweating a lot of our liquids out. Remember that rumor that celery had negative calories? Well that isn’t entirely true since it does have 6 calories per serving, but this low-calorie veg helps maintain and balance our stomach acids. A few celery stalks a day can help with blood pressure, asthma, and helps keep the urinary tract clean. Celery is a perfect beach snack to dip in peanut butter, chop into a salad, or to throw into a light tuna salad.

Radishesradishes-02

Still high up there on the water content with 95.3% ranking, radishes can pack a punch for this summer. Radishes can had a sweet and spicy flavor to any dish you make this summer. Every crunch packs on the antioxidants found in radishes. Radishes can help with sinuses, stimulates appetites, and cleanses the kidneys. A simple radish coleslaw made with olive oil and lemon juice is a perfect side dish, or radish can be garnished on any salad this summer.

Tomatoes29tomato1-superJumbo

For those of us that live in the Philadelphia area, we all know that summer time is the perfect time for Jersey Tomatoes. Tomatoes have 94.5% water content. Ripe and in season tomatoes are easy to put into any dish: putting a few slices on a sandwich for the beach, cut into wedges for a salad, or sliced and ready to eat with a little salt a pepper YUM! Not only are tomatoes a great hydrating food they contain so many vitamins and antioxidants in them. Tomatoes can also help to prevent cervix, bladder, and pancreas cancers.

Green Peppersgreen-pepper

Green for go! Load up on the green peppers at your local farmers markets and grocery stores. Though all bell peppers contain high water content the green pepper comes in at the top of the list with 93.9% water content. Green peppers make the perfect snack for anytime, on kabobs, or stuff them up with your favorite quinoa recipes. Getting your daily dose to peppers can help improve your hair, skin, and nails!

These are just 5 simple fruits and veggies that can help us keep hydrated when our water gets a little bland. They also pack in lots of nutrients and vitamins, along with other added health benefits. Remember to also make sure the kiddies that you’re spending time with keep hydrated while they are in and out of the water, building sand castles, and riding bikes. You can also add your favorite fruits, veggies, and herbs to water to add a little flavor without added sugar. Some of our favorites: cucumber and strawberry, lemon and ginger, or mint.

There are plenty of ways to stay hydrated this summer – be creative and have fun with it!

Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

REMINDER! Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st I REPEAT, this SUNDAY!  I am sure that we all remembered and have extravagant plans for the fathers in your lives, but for those of us that are too busy to even remember what day it is, let’s do something special! Nothing feels better than doing something memorable for the dads that helped us fix a flat tire on our cars, taught us how to tie our shoes, and told us that we were ready to take off our training wheels (even when we thought we weren’t ready). A vegetarian/vegan meal will be different and adventurous for our dads on their special day. Cooking is always a thoughtful and caring gesture, especially when it’s made mindfully, like these recipes below. If your dad likes to order a big burger or a steak every time he goes out to dinner, these vegan sliders and portabella veggie burger recipes may just be a nice switch up for those carnivore dads.

Veggie Quinoa Slidersoriginal-201305-r-crispy-quinoa-sliders
Ingredients
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced (~3/4 cup)
  • 6 button or baby bella mushrooms, diced (~1 1/4 cups)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney (or black) beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ~1/2 cup raw walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal (divided)
Instructions
  1. Slowly sauté, the onion to a large skillet seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  2. When the onions are soft turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add beans and mash. You’re looking for a rough mash. Taste and add another pinch of salt, or pepper if needed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, chili powder and stir. Lastly, add the walnuts a little at a time until the mixture is thick and malleable enough to form into patties. Pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool and preheat your oven to 375. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  5. Once chilled, form into small patties.
  6. Arrange on the baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil and another pinch of black pepper. Bake at 375 for a total of 40-45 minutes, flipping around the 20-minute mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary. For a quicker option, form into thinner patties (1/4 inch) and brown in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat lightly coated with olive oil. Cook until brown on both sides – 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve on small buns or atop mixed greens with desired toppings.

Or check out this delicious portabella burger recipe from Lori over at wonderful and yummy Kitchen Whisperer 🙂

Portabella Veggie Burger

Ingredients
  • 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided
  • 1 cup minced broccoli, fresh only
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 XL eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl Panko or Gluten Free Panko
  • 1 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire *for full vegetarian style use one that does not contain anchovies
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan *Look for vegan Parmesan cheese if you do not eat animal products or nutritional yeast for extra health benefits
  • Olive oil
 Instructions20140205-veggie-burger-toronto
  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are OK).
  2. Add in the mushrooms, the rest of the beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.
  3. Mix just until coated.
  4. Add in the eggs, cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.
  5. Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2 Tbl of oil.
  6. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a Tbl more of bread crumbs.
  7. Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
  8. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce

Not only will these meals be delicious, they will be beneficial to our dads’ heart health and keep them feeling young and energized!

Tip: don’t mention the word vegetarian or vegan to those meat loving dads – that sometimes sways their opinion before even tasting. Have them taste and then surprise them 🙂

5 Natural Remedies for Allergies

Here we are in the beginning of June and congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes are still lingering. Allergies, your time has come and gone now-  please leave! Summer is here and we want our beach bags full of good reads and magazines, NOT tissues. We heard it for the past few months-  this spring season would be extremely heavy with pollen and other allergens, but we didn’t expect it to hang around for this long.

Relief is on the way with 5 natural remedies for allergies.

1) Apple Cider Vinegarapple211

Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a tall glass of water 3 times a day and it will work its magic, naturally! Apple cider vinegar reduces mucous production and cleanses the lymphatic system. The congestion and runny nose that we are all used to will slow down with the apple cider vinegar ability to reduce the mucous. Allergy symptoms and allergy attacks can all be prevented with this simple remedy.

2) Neti Potskh042-seeking-health-nettie-the-elephant

l/../3) Nettle-Peppermint Tea

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine meaning that it natural blocks the body from making histamine. The peppermint leaves contains flavonoids such as luteolin-7-0-rutinoside  which helps inhibit the growth of anti-inflammatory enzymes. While the leaves work together they help reduce the discomfort of the brutal side effects of allergies.

You’ll need:
1 teaspoon of dried pepperment leaves OR 1/4 cup of fresh chopped peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves OR 1/4 cup of fresh chopped nettle leaf
8 ounces of water
*honey and lemon

4) Probioticssoy1_600x450

This may sound a little different but let’s boost our gut bacteria! Having more of a balanced gut bacteria can help prevent some of the symptoms that come along with allergies. Adding more beneficial bacteria to our diets will help balance our immune systems. Some probiotics that can be added are kombucha and kefir. There are also supplements to buy, simply take one a day. Probiotics have numerous health benefits including a healthy digestive tract, better immunity, help control moodiness, hormonal imbalances, and much more.

5) Citrus DrinksIMG_5601

The vitamin C packed in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can boost your immune system when allergies are taking over. A drink that contains two or more citrus fruits can pick up the immune system and allow our bodies to fight the sneezes and itchy cough. Squeezing a half of a lemon, two oranges and adding some local, raw honey will fulfill the vitamin C craving your body needs to fight off the allergies.

Other foods to include in your everyday diet during allergy season:

Dark, leafy greens

Deep yellow and orange vegetables

Onion, garlic, cayenne, ginger, and horseradish