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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 September 18, 2020

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                1. Exercise Daily

                It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                The basic nutritional advice includes:

                • Eat unprocessed foods
                • Eat more veggies
                • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                  5. Watch Out for Travel

                  Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                  This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                  If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                  6. Start Slow

                  Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                  If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                  7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                  Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                  My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                  If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                  I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                  Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                  More Tips on Getting in Shape

                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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