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15 Refreshing Picnic Food Ideas For The Summer

15 Refreshing Picnic Food Ideas For The Summer

A clear blue sky, a smiling sun and cool breeze; the perfect recipe to head out and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Put on your sunscreen, big floppy sun hats, those funky shades, and your best summer outfits and you’re good to go. But what is a picnic without the yummylicious food? Remember, our body is in constant need of a healthy, balanced diet. So pack your baskets with these 15 refreshingly hearty food and drinks for a super picnic on a vibrant summer day.

First up: drinks. Water is a must! It is unarguably the best refreshment ever! Of course there are those fizzy drinks to accompany water, but that does not mean you are only restricted to such beverages. Start your picnic with these fresh drinks!

1. Cranberry-basil spritzer

spritzer

    Surely, this would be love at first sight. Not only will this drink quench your thirst, but will refresh you from inside out! Cranberry is a powerful source of nutriment that helps to fight disease and promote good health. Meanwhile, basil is packed with Vitamin C. Add a sufficient amount of sugar, stir, and drink it up!

    2. Sophie Dahl’s iced tea

    IcedTea

      After a generous feast: lie down, relax, read a book, or carry out a conversation, laugh, and sip on this drink. What makes this special is in the unique blend of ingredients. Sophie Dahl fuses Earl Grey tea with Lavender. This is definitely worth a shot!

      3. Pineapple Cooler

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      pineapple

        It goes without saying really, but: people allergic to pineapple, please avoid! Otherwise this is another refreshment that boosts high amounts of vitamin C and manganese. The fruit contains thiamin as well as vitamin B (involved in energy production). Check this out here!

        A little munching now and then while you prepare your main meal keeps a check on those bellowing bellies. The following are light and won’t fill you up. Here are some delicious nibbles for you to chomp on.

        4. Tomato-cucumber salad with feta

        tomatosalad

          The beautiful color combination of red, green and white is simply tantalizing – the ingredients are dead simple, too! Take a bowl, fill it up with feta cheese, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Mix a light dressing of champagne vinegar, honey and herbs. For more details click here.

          5. Green bean and tomato salad with tarragon dressing

          greenbean

            This is an ideal summer-time salad, with a neat recipe, and jam-packed with nutrients. This Mediterranean salad contains antioxidant elements, calcium, magnesium, and all kinds of vitamins.

            6. Eccentric vegan Caesar salad

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            vegancaesar

              This dish is unique in its style and despite being “unusual,” is very palatable. Just try this out and see for yourself. Easy ingredients, no fuss, no mess!

              7. Deviled eggs with cilantro, jalapenos and curry

              deviledeggs

                Who knew Devils could have delicious factors about them? At least this preparation has! The combination of fresh eggs, mayonnaise, cilantro, caramelized onions, and Indian spices of Sambar powder and curry leaves are super healthy and absolutely effortless. May the devils win this round!

                Time for the favorite part of all food lovers around the globe. Since this is a picnic we are attending, being a glutton would be such a turn off. Not only is it uncomfortable, it is unhealthy too. Let’s keep the ingredients simple, yet filling. So let’s not wait any further and check out the collection of these scrumptious feasts. Presenting to you:

                8. Emeril’s muffuletta

                FW0705WAS05

                  A classic New Orleans sandwich, this beauty is stuffed with cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheese, and tangy olives on a hearty Italian loaf. The vegetables, tangy olives and cheese are a perfect balance to the juicy meat. This is your all-in-one meal!

                  9. Pretzel-crusted “fried” chicken

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                  pretzelchick

                    This fried chicken is both fun and healthy; something both the children and adults will enjoy! The important factor is this is entirely baked and it contains pretzel. So, heat up your oven and bake this protein!

                    10. Grilled buffalo tofu Po’ boy with apple slaw

                    tofusandwich

                      A vegan delight, this sandwich is brimming with calcium, protein and iron – and is gluten free! A straightforward recipe with no ruckus, this sub comprises of marinated grilled tofu and creamy slaw.

                      11.  Mayim Bialik’s vegan Reuben sandwich

                      Vegan-Reuben

                        Just look at this handsomeness! You don’t have to be a vegan to fall in love with it! A twist in the recipe by the actress of Big Bang Theory, this sandwich is stashed with a good proportion of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. This is a comfort food for all!

                        12. Avocado & ham sandwich

                        hamsandwich

                          The wooden smoky flavor of the ham, combined with a pleasing nutty zest of avocado and Swiss cheese, make this particular sandwich so extraordinary. The best part of this hearty meal is that avocado itself is a highly nutritious fruit – It has high level of potassium, monounsaturated fatty acid, and loads of fiber. Indulge yourself in this pack of yum; you will love it! You will find the recipe here.

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                          Finally, No matter how wholesome your meal is, it will remain incomplete without the touch of sweetness. Yes, desserts compliment the whole savory feast. Even if you take one item, it is still valuable. Here is a list of 3 sweet treats for you!

                          13. Quick and easy raspberry tart

                          raspberrytart

                            This recipe is as easy as a pie! Just get those frozen puff pastry sheets, add generous amount of fresh raspberries, put in the oven and bake it! Fresh raspberries decrease chances of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and increase energy. Take a look at this wonder tart.

                            14. Milk-chocolate cookies with malted cream

                            cookiecream

                              Ernestine Ulmer once said, “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” I am going to rephrase it here, “Life is short. Eat this first.” Another smooth recipe that contains milk-chocolate wafers and a mixture of Ovaltine, butter and sugar, and you are good to go! These cookies contain an extra bit of fat, but that’s fair enough in one case (unless you go out on picnics every day!)

                              15. Fruit and cheeses

                              fruitcheese

                                If you want to avoid excess sugar or cream, or want just want something out-of-the-park, then fruit and cheese are for you. Just search around for some hand picked fresh fruits, wash them properly, add an assortment of cheeses, and eat them with toasted raisin-pecan bread. You can also bring fruits of your choice from home, but whatever you do, make sure the fruits are right-out-of-the-tree fresh. Nothing can be as healthy as this meal!

                                Well, bring out your baskets, call your acquaintances, gather your shopping, and head out on a glorious morning and relish your picnic. Until then, delight yourself and stay healthy!

                                Featured photo credit: Woman’s Hand Taking Food From Cafe Table With Dips And Drinks via stokpic.com

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                                Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                1. Gratitude

                                Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                Gratitude-Quotes

                                  2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                  This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                  For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                  What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                  Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                  3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                  This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                  Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                  An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                  Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                  write down goals

                                    4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                    According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                    There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                    5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                    Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                    Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                    6. Rise Earlier

                                    The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                    For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                    So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                    Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                    7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                    Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                    Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                    It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                    Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                    More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                    Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                    [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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