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10 Cool Summer Soups to Help Beat the Heat

10 Cool Summer Soups to Help Beat the Heat

Like so many people, work and running around will keep me busy on these upcoming warm days of summer, though I’ll still get in some beach time! If you’re fanning away the heat waves and dreaming of coolness, I’ve got you covered. Here are the best recipes to help beat the heat with these cool summer soups that are light, tasty and easy to prepare.

1. Watermelon Gazpacho

watermelon-gazpacho

    Watermelon and cucumbers provide a juicy, sweet and slightly spicy flavor to this marvelous version of gazpacho. I often add some cilantro or dill to give it a different taste. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint when serving and you’ll be in for a delight!

    2. Radish Gazpacho

    02Chunky_RadishGazpacho

      The peppery flavor of radish and Worcestershire sauce will give you a sharp taste in this gazpacho. Toss the ingredients into a blender or food processor and you will have a hearty meal that can be put together quickly in case unexpected guests drop in. Another great value in this recipe is that you can make enough to freeze a batch for later. When you’re ready, just thaw and enjoy!

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      3. Chilled Yogurt Soup

      chilled yogurt soup

        This soup makes me want to dance and shout “Opa!” with this cool combo of cucumbers and yogurt. A bit of garlic and chili powder will add some pizazz to the flavors, which you can adjust to your own taste. Pair up with pita bread and you have a wonderful Mediterranean-inspired dish.

        4. Creamy Cucumber Soup

        Chilled-Creamy-Cucumber-Soup

          I love this cucumber and yogurt variation, especially as the addition of avocado to this recipe gives it a silky touch. You can substitute buttermilk or sour cream for the yogurt to vary the taste and then add a spoonful or two of honey to sweeten. The flavors play well off each other to give this soup its distinctive taste.

          5. Sparkling Pineapple Soup

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          Sweet_PineappleSoup

            The ‘sparkling’ in this recipe is wine or champagne, though you can also use white grape juice or apple cider for an excellent non-alcoholic version. The way to give this refreshing soup a tropical twist is to add a few teaspoons of toasted coconut and macadamia nuts as garnishes. You can also vary the taste by blending in pear or mango for half of the pineapple. Either makes a wonderful complement!

            6. Strawberry-Orange Soup

            Strawberry-Soup

              I love it when a combination of flavors and healthy ingredients come together so perfectly in a dish as appealing as this summer soup. The blender is my friend in quickly making this recipe and adding a bit of cardamom will definitely give you a spicy uplift without the heat.

              7. Melon Soup

              melonsoup

                Melons really make summer bearable and they certainly bring excitement to this soup! The great thing about this recipe is that you can use a variety of melons to make it different each time you prepare it. Add a few tablespoons of grappa for a subtle hint of wine and top with your favorite berries and a sprig of mint to bring out the smiles and fresh coolness.

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                8. Cool Cantaloupe Soup with Basil Cream

                cantaloupesoup_chefsstation

                  I like to add a little ‘mambo’ to my summer days by mixing up this 10-minute recipe. The cream blends well (no pun intended) with the mildness of cantaloupe and you can always use yogurt (flavored or plain) or light cream to tone down the calories without losing the great taste. Add about 1/2 cup of pineapple to the mix for variety. If you want to give it an extra sharpness, use a small amount of fresh ginger when blending. Add a sprig of mint or some cilantro leaves on top for garnish and serve over ice in a pilsner or champagne glass to bring some sparkling ‘class’ to your table by the poolside.

                  9. Cool Herbed Zucchini Soup

                  chilled herb zucchini soup

                    I never thought of squash as a summer refresher, but this soup will give your taste buds an idea of the terrific possibilities. It is not only delicious in taste but adding some cashews (soak to soften before blending with the other ingredients) will give you a bowlful of antioxidants and vitamin A to make a very healthy and cool addition to your summer fare. You can make this a day in advance for those spur-of-the-moment get togethers or picnics.

                    10. Spiced Blueberry Soup

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                    Chilled Spiced Blueberry Soup

                      Rounding off our ‘beat the heat’ summer soups list, feast your eyes and appetite on this delectable and fruity soup. A very simple recipe, you can spice it up by adding just a bit of allspice and cinnamon with a couple squeezes of lemon juice (substituting for the orange juice). The lemon will give it slightly more tartness. To balance out the sharpness of the fruits, I may add a cup of yogurt (vanilla or Greek-style would work the best) for a really smooth soup.

                       

                      Surprising coolness, right? All of these delectable choices will bring refreshment to quench the heat and are sure to be a hit all summer. Simple to prepare with so many possible variations, you and your friends can finish off a warm evening or weekend with these summer soups and keep your cool for the week ahead. Let’s get started!

                      Featured photo credit: Ingredients for gazpacho cold soup in a blender, outdoors via shutterstock.com

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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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