By Janis Jibrin, RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Visiting Washington, D.C.? If so, you’ll inevitably wind up in the quaint neighborhood of Georgetown, which is also a bustling shopping mecca. My favorite place to have a bite is Kafe Leopold, a hidden oasis removed from the noise and crowds. The cuisine is loosely Austrian, and it happens to have some of the best salads in D.C. (Although, if you’re in a more decadent mood, the sausage, sauerkraut and spicy mustard is wonderful, as are the pastries).
I’d always loved Leopold’s Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta salad, but it just got even better—and more striking—after brand new executive chef Marcellus Coleman got ahold of it. He let me into the restaurant’s kitchen so I could watch him prepare the salad.
What to do with the rest of your watermelon? Turn in into yet another salad!
You may think all that sweat your body is producing in this hot summer sun is dirty, sticky, and stinky, but it’s actually one of the best things your body can do for itself. Sweat pushes toxins out of your body, it cleanses and opens up your pores, and it can even help maintain or give a boost to your metabolism. Damp skin is a sign your body is working hard in all the right ways!
Give your body a reward for its efforts by nourishing it with in-season summer produce. Not only will foods like asparagus, spinach, and berries fuel your body with vital nutrients and properly and naturally cleanse your body, but some of these summer foods will keep your metabolism revved up, too.
Peppers. These spicy bites can put a few drops of sweat on your forehead, but the capsaicin chemical inside is also known for heating up your metabolism (even hours after you’ve eaten!). The capsaicin in jalapeños, habaneros, and serranos reduces inflammation, relieves sinus pain, and can take down a headache. Add some heat to your next dish or drink, like our Fizzy Jalapeno Cherry Limeades or Watermelon Jalapeño Mojitos. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Nothing says summer like a garden full of fresh vegetables or a farmers market bursting with juicy, in-season fruit. It’s hard to beat the taste of a just-picked sweet tomato or a fragrant strawberry. Whether you eat them plain or toss them into a favorite dish, they’re sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Ready to kick off the summer? Try one of our four favorite June produce picks:
Broccoli. If you grow your own in a garden, you’ll likely start to see small heads soon. For a more tender and mild taste, try to harvest the heads and leaves before they grow too large. Don’t have a green thumb? Look for small heads of broccoli at your local farmers’ market early in the season. Use them to whip up this Fresh Broccoli Salad, which makes for a healthy barbecue side dish.
Raspberries. You can get most berries year-round, but early season raspberries are especially delicious. Look for black raspberries, which are available in many parts of the country in June. In this Raspberry Pistachio Chicken, they make a tasty topping. (more…)
I know what you’re thinking: Corn Dog? Who over the age of 12 eats those? But just imagine what a “gourmet corn dog” would taste like. Because that’s what they sell at various restaurants here in Portland: All-beef franks wrapped in some sort of locally-sourced corn batter and served with at least one type of fancy mustard. They’re delicious and are meant to be eaten with a fork and knife, because apparently these are upscale corn dogs.
Trust me: This fancy corn dog craze is going to hit restaurants near you soon, so it’s important to be prepared for the high caloric cost of this deep-fried meal-on-a-stick. CalorieCount.com estimates suggest a corn dog is around 250 calories, and while that number seems low to, I will stick with it for the sake of consistency (and to save myself even more guilt).
So what are a few of the ways I could have burned off this 250-calorie corn dog, which was my lunch one hot afternoon last week?
I could have played an afternoon game of croquet for 82 minutes.
I could have spent 70 minutes on a stand up paddle board.
I could have done 26 minutes of an outdoor boot camp class.
I wound up doing the boot camp class. Tis the season!
A Summer Food Bucket List: 5 Recipes from Calorie Count
How to Cook with Watermelon
Work it Off: 3 Ways to Zap a 169 Calorie Gelato Bar
Did you know that Italian gelato has fewer calories and less fat than American style ice cream? Me neither! But upon learning this fun fact my first thought was, obviously, I’ve got to get some! A few months ago I had seen Bar Gelato for sale in the Bay Area and the brightly colored bars of frozen gelato looked delish! This week I tracked them down and, after much internal debate, I finally settled on a flavor: Pistachio. (Other front-runners included Recchiuti Burnt Caramel and Guittard Dark Chocolate Sorbetto!)
It was, in a word, heavenly. Much denser than most other ice cream bars thanks to the reduced amount of air added to the formula. Much more flavorful than a lot of other ice pops and frozen treats I’ve had, thanks to the natural flavors. And, on an unseasonably sunny and warm day it really hit the spot.
Of course, there’s always a trade-off. This afternoon indulgence weighed in at a fairly reasonable 169 calories, but it was still more than I’d bargained to eat as a snack.
What are some fun ways to burn off 169 calories? (more…)
Watermelon is one of my all-time favorite fruits. Its sweet flavor and light texture is refreshing every time I bite into it. While I’ve always known that watermelon is a fairly healthy food, especially if it’s taking the place of a heavy dessert, I had no idea how dense it was with good-for-you vitamins and nutrients.
Health benefits: Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is beneficial for eye health; Vitamin B6, which is beneficial for brain function and turning protein into energy; and Vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system, prevent cell damage and even promote healthy teeth and gums.
Watermelon also contains lycopene, which is an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body and helps prevent heart disease and various types of cancer. It’s also an excellent source of potassium, which we all know helps muscle and nerve function, as well as helps maintain our body’s proper electrolyte level. (more…)
By Stephanie Mansour
Whether you’re hitting the beach or trying to stay cool inside this summer, there are many healthy, easy foods and snacks to prepare in advance or even on the fly. In the warm summer months, ice cream sounds more appealing than usual. But instead of indulging, try this five-ingredient smoothie that tastes just like strawberry shortcake. This delicious smoothie is quick to make, travels well, and is far more healthy and nutritious than ice cream.
- Place a whole banana and a cup of frozen strawberries into a blender.
- Then add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.
- Add a serving of protein powder for extra energy.
- Next, add a cup of coconut milk. Blend for 60 seconds, and you’ll have a strawberry shortcake treat!
- If you’d like to make it taste like chocolate, add some chocolate flavored protein powder. (more…)