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Ideal Summer Food: 7 Cooling and Hydrating Cucumber Recipes

Ideal Summer Food: 7 Cooling and Hydrating Cucumber Recipes

Summer is the best time to take advantage of cucumbers, as they’re at their peak freshness, making them crisper, cleaner-tasting and actually better for you! Plus, ucumbers have some serious health and weight-loss benefits.

– They hydrate you, which keeps you functioning at your best and curbs your appetite.

– They help your body cleanse itself, which removes toxins, de-puffs skin and helps you shed water weight.

– They contain high amounts of cucurbitacin, a compound which has been increasingly linked to cancer prevention.

– They’re low in calories and high in Vitamins K, C and B, which means they give you energy, boost the immune system and help promote strong bones.

Check out these top recipes for quick ideas on how to enjoy these summer snack legends without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Summer is a time to be outside!

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1. Cucumber Coconut Salad

Cucumber Coconut Salad

    Martha Stewart’s rendition of a classic Indian salad, its cooling properties and sweet coconut flakes make this recipe a perfect companion on a hot day.

    If you you have a mandolin slicer handy, you can shave these paper thin slices of cucumber for a really delicate texture. But you can always slice by hand or even peel and then grate the cucumber with the largest grate and get a similar affect.

    2. Creamy Coconut Soup

    Cucumber Creamy Soup

      Both light and filling is not always an easy accomplishment, but this soup hits both of those points expertly.

      This is a creamy cucumber and avocado soup that’s great for either a hot or cool summer evening, or cold from the fridge for a soul-lifting lunch.

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      3. Tomato, Basil And Cucumber Salad With Feta

      Tomato, Basil, Cucumber Feta Salad

        This salad has bright colors, bright flavors and just enough of a feta dusting to soften the crisp, fresh produce. There’s no rival for raw herbs over a juicy summer salad.

        Basil in particular has a great little thrill to its flavor profile and wakes up your taste buds.

        4. Detox Water With Lemon, Lime, Cucumber And Mint

        Screen shot 2015-07-23 at 5.09.22 PM

          The ultimate in refreshing drinks, this beverage is so simple and will help your body replenish itself more efficiently than plain water. The vitamins and minerals in the lemon, lime, cucumber and mint leach into the water as it sits on the fridge over night.

          The next morning, you’ll find a subtly sweet and zingy pitcher full of cool, infused water waiting for you. A heavenly way to start the day!

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          Another way to enjoy this on a whim is to simply juice a lemon and a lime, muddle the cucumber and mint and pour seltzer water over the top. This will make for a drink with an extra pop in flavor with bubbles! Use pure seltzer water instead of club soda or tonic water, as the salt will work against the hydrating properties of this summer beverage.

          5. Curried Quinoa Salad With Cucumber Mint Raita

          Curried Quinoa Cucumber Mint Raita

            High protein quinoa, spiced with Madras curry powder and cooled with cucumber and fat-free yogurt, over crisp baby spinach leaves. This dish will satisfy you and kick your metabolism into the next gear.

            Use a milder curry if you’re sensitive to heat or if it’s a particularly hot night outside.

            6. Smoked Salmon in Cucumber Boats

            Screen shot 2015-07-23 at 6.08.15 PM

              The ultimate summer party hors d’oeuvres, this smoky, sweet finger food will be a favorite.

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              Not just pretty and tasty, this snack is also an ultimate brain food, as salmon contains high amounts Omega 3 fatty acids. And all this in a cute ‘cuke’ boat!

              Peeling the cucumbers before hollowing them out into boats is optional. It does make for a nice squishy, soft bite, but keep in mind that the skin contains a lot of the fiber and vitamins. Seems wasteful to just toss them!

              Try making these with a thinner-skinned cucumber like Persian or Hothouse, if you don’t like the waxy skin.

              7. Cucumber Seaweed Salad

              Cucumber Seaweed Salad

                Sweet and fresh with just a touch of protein from the seaweed, this unique salad is a new twist on a couple of Japanese favorites.  And it’s ready in just five to 10 minutes!

                You can find the seaweed at your local Asian market or in the Oriental aisle of most grocers like Whole Foods, or even on Amazon.

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                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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