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25 Healthy Summer Recipes to Enhance Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body

25 Healthy Summer Recipes to Enhance Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body

Summer is a fantastic season to get creative with local produce. Using refreshing fruits, veggies, and lean proteins for your recipes provides the kick you want without sacrificing your diet preferences.

Each of these featured meals are packed with nutrients to strengthen your body and have vegan or vegetarian alternatives. Whether you’re packing a picnic for the beach or entertaining in the backyard, here are 25 healthy recipes to top off your summer:

Breakfast Recipes

1. Corn Cakes with Summer Salsa

    This nutritious twist on traditional pancakes is quick and simple to make. Many of the fresh ingredients needed can be found at a local farmer’s market. One serving contains 14 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and is under 400 calories.

    ~ Get the recipe here!

    2. Greek Yogurt with Warm Black & Blueberry Sauce

      Summer is the best time to enjoy fresh berries. For a grab-and-go breakfast try this low-calorie substitute using yogurt and ringing in under 200 calories. You can substitute frozen berries if you don’t make it to the market and almond yogurt for a dairy-free option.

      ~ Get the recipe here!

      3. Omelet with Summer Veggies

        Omelets are versatile and cook fairly quickly. For a total of 280 calories with 24 grams of protein, this lightweight meal with keep you fueled for the morning. Use fresh or frozen veggies. To make it dairy-free, leave out the gouda or swap for a vegan cheese alternative.

        ~ Get the recipe here!

        4. Peaches & Cream Doughnuts

          If you’re looking for a fun, weekend breakfast to make with others, these doughnuts are healthy alternatives to traditional white-flour and sugar filled options. They can be made completely allergen-friendly with gluten-free flours and nixing the nut toppings if needed. Drizzle with honey and serve with fresh fruit for a little extra goodness!

          ~ Get the recipe here!

          5. Carrot Sunshine Smoothie

            Creamy, plant-based, and perfect for a light breakfast to-go. Smoothies are great choices when you’re not particularly a morning person or you find yourself skipping breakfast often. This recipe is vegan friendly and provides plenty of vitamins and protein to fuel your day and boost your energy.

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            ~ Get the recipe here!

            Lunch/Dinner

            6. Open-Faced Prosciutto & Plum Sandwiches

              These sandwiches are a little bit sweet and salty. At 318 calories, you can sneak this in as a “cheat meal” rich in healthy fats and 13 grams of protein. For a vegetarian or vegan option, nix the cheese and swap the prosciutto for grilled mushrooms or tofu bacon.

              ~ Get the recipe here!

              7. BBQ Chicken with Peach & Feta Slaw

                Who doesn’t enjoy a Summer BBQ? This dish is sure to please at any gathering with sweet peaches and savory, smokey chicken. One serving is just under 410 calories and has 33 grams of protein. For a vegan-friendly option, you can leave out the Feta and bacon, and swap the chicken for tofu or grilled eggplant.

                ~ Get the recipe here!

                8. Salmon Burgers

                  Look no further for a fast, easy, and powerful meal that only takes about 15 minutes to make. Wild-caught Salmon is a very nutritious meat high in essential fatty acids, B Vitamins, and Potassium. This recipe weighs in at only 190 calories with 25 grams of protein.

                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                  9. Grilled Summer Squash Pizza

                    Yep, you read it right- Grilled pizza! The recipe makes 8 slices and one slice is 165 calories, with 5.5 grams of protein. If it’s a rainy day and you have to use the oven, simply heat at 375-degrees F., add your toppings, and bake until the crust is golden brown.

                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                    10. Crunchy Veggies Rolls with Sriracha and Peanut Sauce

                      A classic Asian-inspired dish that is easy to bring just about anywhere. You could also add brown rice or seared tuna for extra protein.

                      ~ Get the recipe here!

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                      11. Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto

                        Created with low-fat yogurt and sour cream, this dish is bursting with smooth flavors. One serving is 211 calories with over 27 grams of protein. Swap the creamy pesto for traditional basil and almond pesto for a dairy-free option. Tofu or mushrooms may be used in place of the chicken for a vegan and vegetarian choice.

                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                        12. Grilled Halibut with Fresh Mango Salsa

                          Homemade salsa can go with so many dishes and this one is under 300 calories, with 37 grams of protein. The fresh onions and cider vinegar both have detoxing properties that improve your immune system and energy. You can swap out the sugar for equal parts honey or stevia for a healthier kind of sweet.

                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                          13. BBQ Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad

                            Bursting with bold spices that boost the immune system, as well as essential fatty acids and protein, this lean meal works in your favor with a prep time under 30 minutes. The recipe makes 8 servings to share or save for leftovers.

                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                            14. Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa

                              This dish is easy to make but looks very impressive, for under 400 calories. The Tuna is another excellent fish for protein and good fats, and the simple salsa is packed with Vitamin C.

                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                              15. Grilled Lime Chicken and Steak with Herb & Arugula Salad

                                This hearty yet low-calorie dinner is created with the family in mind! There’s directions to “reverse-marinate” the meats after grilling them so that you can make some ahead of time if you need to. It is naturally gluten and dairy free. Of course, tofu or veggies could be grilled in place of the meat.

                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                Side Dishes

                                16. Young Green Bean and Grape Tomato Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing

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                                  Creme Fraiche is a creamy and flavorful way to spruce up a side of fresh veggies while remaining under 100 calories. Dairy-free needs can be met by using alternative almond or coconut milk, which will also lower the fat content.

                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                  17. Corn and Summer Veggie Sauté

                                    Another easy side to accompany any meal at only 90 calories with a bit of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium to help you stay satisfied. You can top with fresh herbs like Parsley and or spices similar to Cumin for an extra boost of beneficial flavor.

                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                    18. Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds

                                      This salad is a perfect summer appetizer or side for under 150 calories. Fresh lettuce aids in digestion and will help you stick to you weight goals if you’ve been giving in to too many sweet, summer cravings! You can always make a larger portion and add your favorite protein for a light lunch or dinner option.

                                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                                      19. English Pea Salad with Mint

                                        This 2-step side is under 100 calories. Fresh mint is great for freshening your palate and soothing the body. You can use frozen peas if needed, and leave out cheese for a vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe.

                                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                                        20. Two-Bite Loaded Baked Potatoes

                                          For an adorable spin on the regular baked potato without the tedious cook-time, use creamer potatoes for bite-sized snacks or sides! The recipe below is vegan, so you can add cheese and sour cream as you like for traditional toppings.

                                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                                          Desserts

                                          Summer wouldn’t be as fun without indulging a bit! These desserts are made with alternative ingredients you can eat without feeling like you’re completely deprived of sweets while trying to stick to your routine.

                                          21. Chocolate Brownie Sunday

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                                            Made with dairy-free ice cream and friendly alternatives. For a traditional style, you can swap for Breyer’s or your favorite brand of chocolate ice cream. Add fresh cherries for a chocolate-cherry twist!

                                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                                            22. Raspberry Crumble Bars

                                              If you have some time to bake, these bars are great for delicious and guilt-free snacking. The total prep and cook time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This recipe calls for granola and the option to add additional seeds and dried fruits so you can mix and match ingredients as you like!

                                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                                              23. S’mores Cookies

                                                No campfire? No problem! You can still get your s’mores fix with these amazing little cookies. You’d never guess they were made with all vegan ingredients, but you can always use more traditional ingredients if that’s what you’re most comfortable with.

                                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                24. Lemon and Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

                                                  This delicious frozen favorite isn’t at all difficult to make at home, and for only 100 calories! With only 5 ingredients blended together and placed in the freezer for an hour or so, there’s no reason not to love it! You can use dairy-free yogurt for a vegan option.

                                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                  25. No-Bake Coconut Lime Fruit Tarts

                                                    These look really fancy but only take 15 minutes to create! You can pick and chose your fruit toppings for variety. Some favorites are kiwi, berries, and pineapple.

                                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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                                                    Alexa Sponaugle

                                                    Holistic Health Coach

                                                    25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work 25 Easy Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try (And Go Paleo) This Week 25 Healthy Summer Recipes to Enhance Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body 25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

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                                                    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                                    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                                                    1. Understand Yourself Better

                                                    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                                                    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                                                    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                                                    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                                                    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                                                    3. Become Aware of What Matters

                                                    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                                                    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                                                    4. Boost Creativity

                                                    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                                                    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                                                    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                                                    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                                                    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                                                    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                                                    6. Process Life Experiences

                                                    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                                                    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                                                    7. Stress Relief

                                                    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                                                    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                                                    8. Provide Direction

                                                    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                                                    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                                                    9. Solve Problems

                                                    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                                                    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                                                    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                                                    10. Find Relief From Fighting

                                                    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                                                    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                                                    11. Find Meaning in Life

                                                    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                                                    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                                                    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                                                    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                                                    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                                                    14. Let the Past Go

                                                    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                                                    15. Allow Freedom

                                                    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                                                    16. Enhance Your Career

                                                    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                                                    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                                                    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                                                    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                                                    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                                                    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                                                    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                                                    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                                                    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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