I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.
I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD.
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The results are in. We have our top 13 spectacular recipes for the 13 weeks of summer. From standards like pickles and sandwiches to more adventurous fare like caprese salad and quinoa donuts, we’ve taken existing recipes to a healthy new level. For years, we’ve proved that the robust qualities of some of our nation’s most beloved dishes don’t have to suffer when made healthy.
These 13 recipes have been our most popular this summer, but they’re only the tip of our recipe iceberg. With only days remaining before autumn, try to fit a couple of these delicious recipes into your weekend cooking schedule, they’ll surely surprise and delight your friends and family as you toast the end of the sunshine season.
13. The Best Club Sandwich Ever
The best part about a club sandwich is that you don’t have to be a member to enjoy its delicious crunch and juicy mouthfeel. Whether you’re at a deli, brunch spot, or gastropub, if you see a club sandwich on the menu, you know it’s a solid choice. But you also know it will probably have ungodly sodium levels and contain meat from who knows where. That’s why our recipe uses humanely sourced meat from Applegate that’s organic, low in sodium, and hormone free. Once we subbed in fresh avocado slices for the usual mayo and stuck it all between two pieces of sourdough, this sandwich reached enlightenment.
12. Rainbow Smoothie
The CDC says only 14 percent of adults get their daily recommended dose of fruits and vegetables. Reality makes participating in a plant based diet quite a challenge, that’s why our Rainbow Smoothie is such a gem. The concept is simple: choose one fruit or vegetable from each color family—ROYGBIV—combine with yogurt in a blender and BAM, you’ve got seven servings of fruits and veggies in your cup. It’s fun, easy, and healthier way to taste the rainbow!
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I will never buy pickles from the grocery store ever again.
I’ve seen the light.
I’ve tasted victory.
Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?
When I remember the summer of 2013, it will be the Summer of the Pickle!
My grandfather planted a beautiful garden in his backyard this spring. We’ve been reaping the benefits of his hard work all season and I couldn’t be more thankful. My house doesn’t allow for a garden, so when he emailed and asked, “what would you like me to plant?”, I sent him a list that probably took him by surprise.
At the top of that list were English cucumbers. A thinner skin, sweeter taste, and fewer seeds, English cucumbers are a much better eating experience than the ‘ole standard cucumber. While not an issue when grown in the backyard, when bought at the store, English cucumbers typically come without the layer of wax found on regular cucumbers. And they’re prettier. For what that’s worth!
Grandpa’s harvest has been good, which means we’ve had English cucumbers out the wazoo. A girl can only eat so many before she starts daydreaming about getting rid of cucumbers. So I asked my three-year-old sous chef, and pickle aficionado, if she’d like to spend a Saturday making pickles. She was delighted at the invitation and we set to slicing a heaping pile of cucs.
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It’s very encouraging that we all continue to demand fresher, simpler, healthier recipes, and that they actually exist! Summer tends to inspire this more than other seasons, with the bounty of fruits and vegetables in season this time of year. As we stand to enjoy a few more sweltering weeks of summer sun before the first day of fall on September 22, we present a recipe that meets all of the aforementioned criteria.
This Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad, crafted by guest chef Adriene Rathbun, is a fantastic way to use up the last of your summer garden harvest, as most of these ingredients could be plucked right out of your backyard (or even the farmers market).
We start with all-natural freekeh, pronounced free-kah, a roasted green wheat with a heartier, nuttier taste than bulgur with a texture and appearance similar to other whole grains like rice. It’s as easy to prepare as a pot of rice – you’ll just need a half-cup for this recipe boiled with water (or broth for more flavor) for about 20 minutes. We like ours on the chewier, al dente side, so we reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
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When the iCan Bike program rolled into the Wichita Ice Center last month, 40 youth with varying disabilities grabbed life by the handlebars. The week-long camp is designed to teach cycling to children with developmental disabilities to ride a bike. For many, riding a bike is entrenched as a youthful rite of passage, an expected childhood development filed in between learning to read and losing baby teeth. But even with all the worthwhile services provided to people with different abilities, the teaching of the most essential recreational activity was being overlooked. Learning to bike is a portal. It’s the intersection of sport and independence, it’s in the doorway of competition and confidence.
iCan Bike is under the larger iCan Shine umbrella, a national organization that “provides quality learning opportunities” for a host of recreational activities. iCan Shine sent two staffers, Donovan Bryan and John Reyes, and their custom designed bikes and equipment for the Wichita camp, hosted by the Independent Living Resource Center.
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