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11 Foods That Taste Better In Summer

11 Foods That Taste Better In Summer

Something about the summer just makes some foods taste better. Sure, some fruits and veggies are only truly in season during the hot months, but the aesthetics of eating outside with the wind in your hair just changes the entire dining experience, and allows you to enjoy food you simply wouldn’t eat in the dead of winter. Most importantly, some of the best summer foods are also the healthiest.

1. Corn

July and August are the go-to days for sweet, buttery corn on the cob. (Of course, if we’re talking healthy, go easy on the butter). Corn goes well by itself, as a side, or in salads and salsas. No matter what month it is, the best time to eat corn is as soon as it’s harvested: as time passes, the sugars that give it that snap slowly turn to starch, and it loses its zing.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are a sweet treat that can be found pretty much all over the country. They’re a natural source of antioxidants and Vitamin K, and have an incredible amount of health benefits. And they’re healthy on your wallet, too: compared to other berries and most tree fruits, blueberries are fairly inexpensive.

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3. Apricots

Apricots are generally freshest in May, but they don’t last too long unless dried or preserved. Biting into a fresh, juicy apricot is incredibly refreshing; biting into a not-so-fresh one is quite the opposite. However you prepare them, apricots are another source of antioxidants, and are reportedly good for your eyesight. Pick some up while they’re still fresh!

4. Cherries

May is also cherry season, although the West Coast enjoys an earlier harvest. The sweet and tangy fruit also has a wide variety of health benefits, such as arthritis relief and reduced muscle pain. Studies show that cherries might also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

5. Avocados

Once again, May is the month to jump on the healthy fruit (yes, that big thing in the middle is a seed) bandwagon. Avocado is a soothing addition to salads, and is the main ingredient in healthy, homemade guacamole. Although they are produced year round in more temperate climates, domestically produced avocados are best during the early summer months. A quick peek at the vitamins avocados offer tells more than can possibly be explained here.

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6. Watermelon

I waited much too long to discuss the most obvious summer fruit out there. Made up of 90% (you guessed it) water, the juicy red melon is a great source of hydration on a hot summer day. Not only that, but watermelon contains more cancer-fighting lycopene than tomatoes, and is on the same level as spinach as far as iron content goes. Okay, I’m starting to get hungry…

7. Zucchini

Raw, grilled, or sautéd, zucchini is an incredibly versatile summer veggie that has a wide variety of health benefits. Not only does it contain no cholesterol or fat, but it also contains 35% of the recommended vitamin C intake. My wife has recently made me aware of the magic of zoodles, a substitute for pasta (which will come in handy during those sticky dog days of August).

8. Shrimp

Moving away from fruits and veggies, shrimp is a staple of the summer months. Anyone who’s seen Forrest Gump knows there are a plethora of ways to prepare shrimp. The “fruit of the sea” can be prepared as a light lunch, an appetizer, or part of the featured entree. The little guys are high in protein and iron, and low on calories. Which is good, because you can never have just one or two of them.

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9. Fresh-brewed Iced Tea

You can only truly say you’ve enjoyed iced tea if you’ve prepared it yourself on a hot summer day. The zero-calorie refresher is full of antioxidants, and if you prepare it on your own you can control its sugar capacity. Avoid store-bought teas if you’re trying to find a healthy alternative to juices or sodas; many health-related claims made by popular brands have been proven untrue.

10. Gazpacho

The soup of the summer, the tomato-based meal combines the healthiest vegetables into one bowl of refreshing goodness. Peppers, onions, and cucumbers combine to create a soup that is low on calories, fat, and cholesterol. Definitely not something you’d want on a cold winter day, gazpacho keeps soup-lovers happy throughout the sweltering months of summer.

11. Ice Cream

Why not? If you can’t indulge yourself without worrying about vitamins and cholesterol, what’s the point of getting out of bed? Grab some Ben and Jerry’s and slurp it up before it melts!

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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