4 Reasons Fresh Foods Are Superior to Processed Foods

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, processed foods seem to reign supreme. Fast food and pre-packaged meals offer families more of what they often lack: time.

Unfortunately, while processed foods might give you a few extra minutes today, chronic use can result in less time later. Overly processed foods can lead to overeating, obesity, and chronic health conditions, which is why medical professionals encourage people to eat a diet of primarily fresh foods.

Fresh foods contribute to your overall health and well-being. They provide superior nutrition compared to processed foods and encourage healthy lifelong habits. According to nutritionists and other medical professionals, there are many reasons to eat fresh.

1. Fresh Foods Boost Immune Defenses

As the seasons change, winter gets closer, as does cold and flu season. While no foods can magically cure illnesses, consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can prevent infection or reduce the likelihood of sickness. Several studies suggest a healthy and balanced diet promotes good health and fortifies the immune system.

Obviously, your diet is not the only contributing factor to your level of infection risk. You will also want to maintain good hygiene and sleep practices.

2. Fresh Foods Teach Healthy Habits

Childhood obesity is a disturbing issue, and many studies suggest it is a dangerous trend that continues into adulthood. According to one study, two-year-old obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Obesity puts children at risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer as they age.

Most children can adopt healthy eating habits easily; parents only need to expose them to a healthier diet. By including plant-based foods with every meal, your child will learn its importance. Also, providing a balanced diet helps children develop a healthy relationship with food.

3. Fresh Foods Reduce Family Costs

A common argument for consuming a diet mainly comprising processed foods is cost. People assume fresh foods are more expensive, which is false in most instances. According to experts, fresh food is cheaper than processed foods with proper meal planning and effort.

The problem most people have is they attempt overly complex meals. Keep in mind that your dinners do not have to meet Michelin star restaurant standards. Using an affordable lean protein like chicken and a decent portion of fruits and vegetables is enough to make a satisfying and affordable meal at home.

4. Fresh Foods Taste Great

Clean eating is a palate awakening. Society is so used to overly salted, sugar-covered snacks that it's forgotten the delicacy of natural foods. Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can offer a whirlwind of flavors, and the combinations are vast. If you are only willing to open up your palate to clean foods, the overwhelming available flavors might surprise you.

Fresh foods are more nutritious than most processed foods and present reduced health risks in the short and long term. While you might turn to fast food or other overly processed meals to save time, consider the potential risks of consuming such foods routinely. Fresh is best, especially where your health is concerned.

4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Healthier Than Sugar

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean cutting all sugar. Even medical experts recognize that there’s room for some sweetness in your daily routine. That said, too much sugar is bad for your heart, increases your risk of diabetes and adds quickly to your waistline. One tablespoon of refined sugar has 50 calories!

The Secret to Healthy Living With a Sweet Twist

One option to avoid empty calories is simply to lower the amount of added sugar you eat. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy, because many manufacturers add sugar to things you wouldn’t believe: spaghetti sauce, bread, bacon, ketchup, etc. Homemade meals are easier to keep low in sugar, though.

Another trick is replacing refined sugar with healthier alternatives that are naturally low in calories. You can’t go crazy with them, but you can have a sweeter life and lose weight at the same time.

The Healthiest Sugar Alternatives

If you think outside the box, it’s not as hard as you may think to reduce added sugars. These days, there are many natural sugar alternatives. Here are the best.

1. Fruit (Fresh or Frozen)

Ditch the sugar and choose these fruits instead the next time you want to sweeten smoothies or oatmeal. Opt for unsweetened cereal or natural yogurt and add fruit for sweetness. Try these delicious superstars:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Figs
  • Mangos
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe

Health professionals agree that natural sugars in fruit aren’t a problem for your health. You can enjoy them as much as you want. They provide a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, too. Frozen fruit is almost as rich in nutrients as fresh, so feel free to choose it if it’s less expensive or more convenient.

2. Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Technically, applesauce is fruit, too, but you use it for sweetening different things. Fruit puree makes an excellent alternative to sugar for baked goods, adding both moisture and natural sweetness. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Cupcakes with strawberry puree
  • Banana bread with guava
  • Cheesecake with passion fruit puree
  • Pumpkin-apple coffee cake
  • Dark chocolate cake with raspberries
  • Carrot cake with pineapple puree
  • Real cherry pie
  • Strawberry-kiwi dessert pizza

3. Stevia

This natural sweetener comes from the leaves of a plant native to South America. Stevia doesn’t have any calories, and it doesn’t have the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners. If you’re worried about your wallet, you should know that a little goes a long way: Stevia is 450 times sweeter than sugar.

4. Monk Fruit Extract

Like stevia, monk fruit extract comes from leaves — in this case, from a Chinese plant. Monk fruit extract packs tons of sweetness into a zero-calorie package. It also doesn’t affect blood sugar, making it a good alternative for people who need to be careful with glucose levels.

A Balanced View of Sweet Treats

The key to good physical, emotional and mental health is balance. Sometimes, enjoying a slice of apple pie with family and friends is just what the doctor ordered for reducing stress. With the help of natural sugar alternatives, you can indulge your sweet tooth without feeling guilty.

5 Ways To Simplify Your Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is an essential activity, but there are right and wrong ways to accomplish it. Most people know that shopping with a plan and on a budget is the best strategy for making the most of your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly grocery jaunts. Still, some people need specifics about how to plan for a successful trip. They need help to simplify the grocery buying process.

Family planners seem like grocery gurus. They create a plan and execute it on a schedule with few, if any, variants. To be a shopping master, shoppers need discipline and a commitment to five techniques.

1. Stick to the List

The worst thing anyone can do is go to a grocery store without a list. Entering a market without a plan will lead to impulse buys, depleting your budget.

Every experienced family planner knows the grocery list is the law. Write a list of all essentials and wants when at home, and once at the store, do not deviate from the list.

Taking a military approach to shopping should have several benefits, including speed. People can shave precious minutes off their trip when they stick to their grocery list and ignore everything else.

2. Plan Meals and Snacks

Meal planning helps curb wasteful spending habits. Many families ignore the practice or use bare-bones planning strategies, such as only planning dinners. By avoiding thorough meal planning, a family likely spends money on food, snacks, and meals that will go to waste.

Effective meal planning involves creating a detailed meal schedule that includes main meals and snacks. Food budgets can go a long way when a family sticks to the plan.

3. Buy in Bulk (When It Makes Sense)

Big box retailers and membership warehouses often sell bulk merchandise. People find bulk buying tempting because of the implied savings, but not every offering is a saving.

Also, sometimes buying in bulk makes little sense. For example, how quickly can a single person go through gallons of mayonnaise? Only buy bulk items when there is value; usually, avoid purchasing perishable items this way.

Bulk paper products or dry goods sometimes make sense. However, always check the cost per unit to understand how much of a deal the store offers.

4. Limit the Number of Stores and Trips

Too many people run all over the place to shop for groceries, always chasing the best deals. Sometimes, visiting multiple stores is worth it, but most of the time, it isn't.

It's common for an area to have four or more grocery chains. If shoppers want to simplify their shopping, they should select one or two chains and stick to them.

5. Use Coupons Whenever Possible

There is no reason to become obsessed with couponing, but coupons provide significant value, especially to the frugal shopper. The best way to maximize savings is to have a coupon system.

The best shoppers will look through circulars when they receive them. They clip any coupons of interest and put them in their purse, pocketbook, or grocery list notebook. As the coupons expire, they cycle them out for new ones.

Grocery shopping will not always be fun, but it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Shoppers can simplify the entire process by organizing a list, creating meal plans, limiting stores and using coupons.

5 Teas That Are Beneficial to Your Health

Often used in ancient herbal remedies, the tea plant — Camellia sinensis — is a proven tool in promoting health and well-being. Study after study supports the claim that various teas support physical and mental health.

Unfortunately, the variety of available teas makes it difficult for the average consumer to choose the most beneficial tea options. From green tea to black tea and everything in between, not all teas are equal. Despite the growing supply and variety of available teas, most registered dietitians agree that five teas stand out over the rest.

1. Green Tea

Medical professionals and dietitians agree that green tea is the most beneficial option. Green tea contains loads of antioxidants that help:

  • Improve brain function
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Protect against cancer
  • Aid in fat loss

One antioxidant, in particular, catechin, helps protect your body against free radicals and other harmful molecules. The substance prevents cell damage, protecting against premature aging and disease.

2. Peppermint Tea

Experts recommend drinking peppermint tea when you are not feeling 100%. The tea contains menthol, which can help when fighting a cold. Menthol essentially helps to rile up your immune system.

Peppermint tea has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Dietitians and medical professionals claim the tea can help reduce fever, relieve nasal congestion, and relax sore throats. If peppermint tea is not your drink of choice when feeling under the weather, you can also try:

  • Echinacea tea
  • Elderberry tea
  • Hibiscus tea

3. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea has proven digestive benefits. Several studies show ginger combats nausea, including morning sickness. Also, the herb helps the stomach move food to the digestive tract, easing indigestion and gastric distress.

Despite the benefits of ginger tea, many people cannot handle the strong taste. If you do not like ginger tea, consider peppermint tea. Several studies suggest peppermint can help with indigestion, but be careful because it can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.

4. Herbal Tea

Herbal teas represent a mixture of dried flowers, herbs, fruits and spices. They are not derived from the tea plant like other teas. Drinking herbal tea can improve lung health.

According to some reports, herbal teas possess anti-inflammatory properties that help relax airways, allowing for easier breathing. Herbal teas are often recommended to people with asthma and similar conditions because of their effect on the lungs. Experts recommend selecting a tea with cinnamon, turmeric, or ginger for optimum lung benefit.

5. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is an excellent option for easing a troubled mind and drifting to sleep. The chamomile plant contains the antioxidant apigenin, which attaches to brain receptors to alleviate anxiety symptoms and increase relaxation. According to some experts, chamomile acts as a mild tranquilizer.

If you don't like chamomile tea or want to try something different, choose valerian root tea. Valerian root works similarly to chamomile and promotes relaxation.

Tea is a proven health aid. While producers continue to create clever mixes, five straightforward teas are all you need to experience the many health benefits of the beverage.

The Weird But Amazing Benefits of Eating More Corn

Corn isn’t exactly high on the list when most people think about healthy foods. There are many myths about corn, such as the ideas that it’s not healthy, contains empty carbs or makes you gain weight. In reality, whether you love grilled sweet corn or corn flour tortillas, this golden vegetable offers a surprising number of benefits.

Sweet Corn Doesn’t Hurt Your Blood Sugar

One misconception people have is that sweet corn is packed with sugar and bad for your blood sugar. While sweet corn does have natural sugars, it’s actually a low-glycemic food. This is because there’s plenty of fiber to slow down digestion, so it doesn’t trigger sugar spikes.

People who have diabetes should always follow a doctor’s recommendations, which may mean eating smaller portions. That said, an ear of corn only has 6 grams of sugar. That’s less than half what apples and bananas have.

A Bag of Popcorn Has About 50% of Your Daily Fiber Needs

Everyone needs plenty of fiber to encourage healthy digestion. High-fiber foods contribute to regularity and support your gastrointestinal tract. In turn, GI health is related to better cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

One bag of popcorn (without grease and salt) provides about 16 grams of fiber. Men should get 30–38 grams a day, and women need 21–25 grams. With the help of this healthy snack, you can hit your fiber goals relatively easily.

Fiber Helps You Lose Weight, Not Gain It

What about the myth that corn is just waiting to add pounds to your waistline? It’s true that this vegetable has starch, but it’s not empty carbs. In reality, the abundance of fiber helps you feel full and keeps cravings for sugary treats away.

In other words, it’s much better to reach for a bag of fresh popcorn than a candy bar. You won’t experience the “crash” that comes from sugar, and you’ll feel satisfied until mealtime. This can have a positive effect on weight loss.

Corn Has Many Nutrients

Contrary to the idea that corn doesn’t do anything for your health, different types of corn have a large variety of nutrients:

  • Vitamins: Fresh corn gives you vitamins A, B-1, C and E.
  • Antioxidants: Corn is a great source of the natural compounds lutein and zeaxanthin. These protective antioxidants are good for healthy vision.
  • Minerals: Corn has potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper. It’s like a mini-multivitamin.

The Ear That’s Good for Your Eyes

Did you know that eating corn can reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related eyesight problems? Antioxidants help to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Blue corn is even better than yellow corn at taking care of your vision.

Colon Benefits

The insoluble fiber in corn can help you keep your colon and GI tract clean. According to an important study, the risk of colon disease was almost 30% lower in men who ate popcorn regularly. That’s a huge difference for a sweet veggie.

A Tasty, Flexible Option for Dinner

Whether you choose fresh corn or the frozen variety, you can get health benefits. It’s easy to add some corn to chicken soup, sprinkled over your salad, in chili, or grilled on the cob. However you enjoy it, corn deserves a regular place at your dinner table.

Considering Switching to Decaf? Here’s What You Need To Know

Coffee is inarguably the world’s most beloved beverage, with as many as seven in 10 Americans drinking at least one cup a day. If you can relate to the average American, you drink as many as three cups per day, whether because you need a boost or out of sheer habit. While recent studies suggest that the more coffee you drink, the better, the truth is that many people can and do experience adverse side effects from too much caffeine intake. If you’re one such person, you may wonder, should you switch to decaf?

The Deal With Decaf

Unlike sugar, dairy and meat alternatives, decaf coffee really is just coffee sans the caffeine. To make decaf coffee, the manufacturers simply remove the caffeine from the beans by washing them in a solvent. Common solvents include organic solvents, water and carbon dioxide. Once the beans are virtually caffeine-free, the beans are then rinsed to wash away the solvent.

Once decaffeinated, you can roast and ground the beans as normal. Though the smell and taste may be milder than traditional coffee, the nutritional value should be similar to, if not the same as, regular coffee.

Decaf’s Nutritional Value

Speaking of nutritional value … Not only is coffee one of the world's most beloved beverages but also one of the healthiest. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and is, in fact, the single largest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. Among other benefits, antioxidants reduce oxidative damage throughout the body and help to prevent chronic illness, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers.

Decaf offers more or less the same health benefits as regular coffee. It, too, is loaded with antioxidants, though studies suggest that decaf typically contains about 15% less than caffeinated joe. This is likely due to the decaffeination process in which several properties are lost. Despite the small loss, though, decaf is still a huge source of antioxidants and, therefore, a better alternative to just about any other beverage.

In addition to being antioxidant-rich, decaf also contains trace amounts of other necessary nutrients. For instance, a single cup of brew provides 4.8% of your recommended daily potassium intake, 2.4% of magnesium, 2.5% of niacin and small amounts of vitamin B3. Though these amounts may seem minimal, they quickly add up if you are a multiple-cup-a-day type person.

Possible Effects of Going Decaf

Decaf may be similar in composition to regular coffee, and it may offer more or less the same health benefits, but it does differ in the effects it has on the body. Below are a few changes you may experience after switching to the dark side:

  • You may feel more lethargic at first as your body gets used to life without caffeine once again.
  • You may experience the symptoms of withdrawal, especially if you were a heavy coffee drinker. Don’t worry though, these symptoms — which may include headache, nausea and fatigue — won’t last long.
  • You may notice a surge in appetite, as caffeine is an appetite suppressant.

However, switching to decaf is not all bad. After about a week or so of drinking strictly decaf, you may notice that you actually have more energy. Not only that, but your sleep quality may improve, your tummy issues may disappear and you may notice that you no longer feel anxiety for no discernible reason.

Decaf coffee is not for everyone. However, if you experience side effects after drinking regular coffee, or if you simply want to cut back on your caffeine intake, decaf could be a great alternative for you. You will still reap all the health benefits of the real deal but without any of the pesky side effects that come with caffeine overload.

This Is the Year of Zucchini!

Zucchini isn’t exactly America’s favorite veggie, but there are plenty of things to love about it. This slender, tender variety of squash provides many healthy nutrients. It also packs lots of flavor and freshness — if you know how to use it in dishes the right way.

A Source of Amazing Vitamins and Nutrients

The list of vitamins and minerals in a cup of zucchini reads like the label on a multivitamin bottle:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Thiamine
  • Copper

Just one cup of zucchini can give you around 10–15% of your daily needs for these vitamins. That’s pretty impressive for a relatively inexpensive veggie!

Heaven for Your Gut

Zucchini has plenty of water, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which is excellent for gut health. Adding it to meals can make them easier for your body to digest. For some people, zucchini and other green veggies can alleviate the pain and inflammation of ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic digestive problems.

The Green (and Yellow) Antioxidant Powerhouse

Another reason to love zucchini’s nutrients is that many of them provide important antioxidants. For example, green and yellow zucchini are rich in carotenoids — the same family of antioxidants found in carrots. These compounds support and protect the body:

  • Eyes: Like carrots, zucchini are a great veggie for protecting your eyesight. This isn’t a myth. Beta-carotene and vitamin C can significantly reduce the risk of age-related vision loss and cataracts.
  • Bones: Vitamin K, magnesium and antioxidants in zucchini all work together to help you have stronger bones.
  • Prostate: While more research is needed, some studies suggest that zucchini seeds may help limit prostate enlargement.
  • Thyroid: Some scientists think that extracts from zucchini peels may support balanced thyroid hormones. If true, it could help your metabolism, energy levels and mood.
  • Cells: Some studies point to zucchini for helping prevent the growth of cancer or even destroying cancerous cells. A lot more research is needed to confirm this, but it’s a pretty impressive potential benefit for just adding colorful vegetables to your diet!

A Perfect Carb Replacer

Now for one of the biggest reasons why this is the year of the zucchini: low-carb lifestyles! Zucchini has a firm texture and smooth taste that work great as a substitute for traditional carb-heavy staples. Instead of pasta, you can spiralize zucchini in seconds for flavorful Italian dishes.

Easy Veggies From Your Garden

Growing zucchini is a breeze. Just plant some seeds in a sunny spot, give them at least two inches of water each week, and enjoy the fruits… er, veggies of your labor in about 45 days. A good harvest will give you plenty of zucchini to share with friends, too.

Awesome Ways To Use Zucchini

If you’ve never eaten zucchini raw in salads, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Here are other irresistible meal ideas:

  • Tomato and zucchini salad with olive oil vinaigrette
  • Zucchini, carrot and cabbage slaw
  • Grilled halibut with lemon zucchini noodles
  • Grilled zucchini slices with olive oil and basil (side dish)
  • Sauteed shrimp and zucchini stir fry
  • Spicy zucchini with turmeric-ginger chicken
  • No-noodle zucchini lasagna
  • Zucchini au gratin with garlic, parmesan and pecorino

A word of advice: Don’t overcook! Just toss the zucchini in at the last minute, like you would with herbs or green onions.

Upgrading a Traditional Pasta Salad With 4 Healthy Ingredients

Most people assume pasta salad is unhealthy and, depending on the ingredients; they aren't wrong. The average pasta salad contains loads of carbohydrates and fats.

For people trying to lose weight or eat a heart-healthy and carb-friendly diet, pasta salad seems like an obvious no-go — unless you make a few healthy changes. Swapping out standard white pasta for whole grain pasta is one healthy alternative, as is using an oil substitute like avocado or applesauce. Besides swapping the two primary ingredients for healthier options, you can include additional items to increase the nutritional value.

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, but that is not the only thing that makes them unique. The bright red food contains lycopene, which produces its color and supports the immune system.

Lycopene-rich foods reduce your risk of certain cancers and diseases. The substance helps the body, in part, by fighting free radicals that can damage cells. Lycopene may also reduce levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

2. Bell Peppers

Like tomatoes, bell peppers are nutritionally rich. While the peppers contain many vitamins and antioxidants, the level of vitamin C and various carotenoids make the food exceptionally healthy.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is essential to several bodily functions, including wound healing, collagen production, iron absorption, immune system performance, and the maintenance of teeth, bones, and cartilage. One bell pepper contains 169% of your recommended daily intake.

Carotenoids are the compounds that give bell peppers their vibrant colors. They also act as antioxidants in humans. Bell peppers contain several carotenoids, including:

  • Capsanthin (red bell peppers)
  • Violaxanthin (yellow bell peppers)
  • Lutein (green bell peppers)

3. Arugula

As a cruciferous vegetable, arugula is a dark leafy green similar to kale or cabbage. The flavor profile is spicy and bitter and only gets stronger with age. It can be the perfect addition to a pasta salad, especially if lacking a little kick.

The vegetable is a rich source of antioxidants, but what makes it unique is glucosinolate and vitamin K. Glucosinolate causes the potent scent and bitter taste of the plant; it also can reduce the risks and protect against certain cancers.

Vitamin K is essential for bone building and blood clotting. People who consume enough of the nutrient can reduce their risk of osteoporosis. One cup of arugula provides nearly 22 mcg of the 80 mcg daily recommended requirement.

4. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an excellent protein source because they are a complete protein: they contain all nine essential amino acids, the keys to proper bodily function. Also, the legume contains several vital nutrients and a generous amount of fiber.

Choline, an organic, water-soluble compound, is present in chickpeas. The compound is unique because it contributes to a healthy brain and functioning nervous system.

Aside from being a vegetarian and vegan-friendly protein, chickpeas promote weight control and cardiovascular health, control blood sugar spikes, and maintain gastrointestinal health. The legumes also provide a lovely texture and subtle flavor to pasta salad.

Pasta salad is traditionally unhealthy, loaded with carbs and "bad" fats. However, you can alter the conventional perception of the dish by upgrading, eliminating, and adding certain ingredients. Using whole grain pasta and healthy fat as a foundation, you can add tomatoes, bell peppers, arugula, and chickpeas to the salad for flavor and crunch. The upgraded salad will be much healthier than the pasta salads you're used to.

The Benefits of Cauliflower as a Carb Alternative

When people think of carbs, they typically think of white bread, potatoes, rice, and all those other delicious starches that you know aren’t the best for you. In most cases, cutting out unhealthy carbs is a good idea, but how do you find substitutes for all those beloved side dishes and meal complements? You swap them for cauliflower alternatives.

Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower presents similar characteristics to many beloved white starches, including texture and versatility. However, there are plenty of reasons to love this distinguished vegetable, including the fact it is loaded with vitamins, high in fiber, and a great source of antioxidants. Additionally, cauliflower is a source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids, those integral blood pressure helpers. For the hair conscious, cauliflower also contains levels of biotin, a primary component in many hair health and growth booster products.  Finally, cauliflower contains potassium, good for the heart, and several other nutrients to earn its place as a nutrient powerhouse.

Beyond the nutritious value of cauliflower, it is also Keto and Paleo diet-friendly, unlike other carbs. Cauliflower is an excellent way to maintain your dietary commitments while still indulging in favorites similar to mashed potatoes or rice. However, you do not have to mimic comfort foods; you can eat cauliflower as it is with delicious results.

The Cauliflower Imposter

Cauliflower is a wonderful way to dress up conventional American meals with a healthier twist. For example, you can make a cauliflower bun for a burger or picnic dinner, use cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes, or why not use a cauliflower crust for the next pizza night.

Cauliflower is a perfect substitute to experience some of the textures and flavors you love from traditional carbs and starches. The best part is, the vegetable comes with fewer calories and many health benefits, including slower digestion and prolonged feelings of fullness.

Because cauliflower is a fibrous vegetable, your digestive system needs to slow the digestion process, allowing the body to maintain the nutrients from the vegetable. With the slower digestive process, you will likely feel fuller longer, leading to fewer consumed calories during the day, ultimately helping you lose weight.

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Cauliflower Carb Alternative Recipes

You can find several cauliflower recipes online. However, there are at least two that people consider staples.

Cauliflower Buns


  • 1 lb cauliflower florets

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


First, preheat the oven to 425°F and use parchment paper to line a large baking sheet. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until finely grated. Microwave the cauliflower for 3 minutes on high. Allow the cauliflower to cool before transferring it to a clean towel and wring out the excess liquid. Put the cauliflower back in the mixing bowl and combine the egg and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Divide the batter into 8 portions in three-inch circles — bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when done.

Cauliflower Mash


  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Garnish: chopped fresh thyme


First, in a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower and garlic, allowing it to cook for 10 minutes. You want the cauliflower fork tender. Drain the pan and let the cauliflower stand for two to three minutes with the lid. Then, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and add the other ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Do you have any other favorite cauliflower recipes? Leave a comment below with instructions.

The Healthiest, Most Delicious Summer Cocktails to Try

You all know warm weather is on its way out the door for a few months, right? If you haven’t fully enjoyed it, now’s the time to soak up as much sun as possible while sipping refreshing summer cocktails before cold weather swoops in. Here are a few of my favorite healthy and delicious summer cocktails you need to try this week!

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Decadent Peach Bellini

One of my absolute favorite summertime flavors is peach. From peach pies to peach cocktails, you can give me peaches all day and I’ll feel like I’m in heaven. That’s why this Decadent Peach Bellini takes the top spot on my list of healthy summer cocktails to try before winter arrives.

Even better than its mouthwatering flavor is the fact that this drink only requires four ingredients! Here’s how to make it.


  • 750 ml sparkling wine
  • 5 sliced strawberries for garnish
  • 1 L fresh pureed peaches
  • Ice cubes (as many as you want!)


  1. Pour the sparkling wine into the pitcher.

  2. Add the fresh pureed peaches and stir the mixture together.

  3. Add as many ice cubes as you want.

  4. Garnish with sliced strawberries.

Voila! You have a healthified summer cocktail that contains fresh fruits that are chock-full of vitamin C and other nutrients.

Virgin Pina Colada

If you’re really serious about being healthy and avoiding alcohol altogether, you can still enjoy the tangy sweetness of a pina colada without the alcohol. This Virgin Pina Colada only takes a few minutes to make and tastes incredible. You won’t even notice the absence of alcohol!


  • 1 ½ cups coconut cream
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple juice (with no added sugar)
  • 1 tsp rum or vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3-4 pineapple wedges (for garnish)
  • As much cubed ice as you want!


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 60 seconds (or until creamy).

  2. Pour into glasses.

  3. Garnish with pineapple wedges.

Have you ever seen instructions that were that easy? If you want to switch up the flavor a bit, you can also add a couple of ripe bananas or half a cup of frozen or fresh berries. You can even add a ton of tang by switching out the pineapple juice for lime juice and adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar (though this last modification will reduce the healthiness of the drink).

Virgin Strawberry Margarita

Here’s another alcohol-free summer cocktail that will knock your socks off. It’s low in sugar and is even Paleo-friendly!


  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries (sliced and washed)
  • 2 cups crushed ice cubes
  • 32 oz. seltzer (regular or lime-flavored)
  • Juice from two limes
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)


  1. Combine strawberry slices and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.

  2. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Drain all excess liquid and allow the strawberries to cool for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Put the strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth.

  5. Place in the fridge for approximately one hour.

  6. Put crushed ice cubes in glasses, then spoon approximately 1/3 cup of strawberry puree in each glass.

  7. Pour 8 oz. of seltzer in each glass, followed by approximately 1 Tbsp. of lime juice.

  8. Add maple syrup (optional).

  9. Stir together and serve fresh!

This drink is tangy, sweet, and refreshing without the alcohol content. Of course, if you’re not trying to cut back on your alcohol consumption, go ahead and add it to your drink. I won’t tell!

These healthy and delicious cocktails will help you hang onto the last threads of summer before they fade away for a few months. Give them a try this week to figure out which are your favorite!