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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

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                                                    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                                    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                    1. The Inner Critic

                                                    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                                    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                    2. The Worrier

                                                    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                                    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                                    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                    4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                                    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                    How can you control these squatters?

                                                    How to Master Your Mind

                                                    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                    For the Inner Critic

                                                    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                                    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                                    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                    • They rile up the Worrier.
                                                    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                                    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                    For the Worrier

                                                    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                    • Muscles tense

                                                    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                                    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                                    For example:

                                                    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                    • Muscles tension

                                                    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                    Breathe in through your nose:

                                                    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                    • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                    Breathe out through your nose:

                                                    • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                    • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                                    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                                    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                    For the Sleep Depriver

                                                    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                    • Shut down your thinking.
                                                    • Calm your feelings.
                                                    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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