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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 January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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