With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and upcoming vacations and trips dancing in our heads, we are well into summer. It’s no secret that summer brings an added motivation to exercise and eat healthy in order to achieve that “beach bod.” While I am a strong proponent for living a healthy and fit lifestyle all year round, I do appreciate the extra burst of fitspo that comes along with summer sundresses and swimsuits.
There isn’t one major secret to healthy living (if there is, I have yet to find it!), but I’m always on the look out for new ways to bring health into every aspect of my life. And because no one wants to hear about counting calories or eating salad for the millionth time, I’m sharing a few small and easy health tips and tricks I’ve gathered recently that have helped me along my healthy living journey.
1. The healthiest, freshest, tastiest, easiest pasta sauce EVER!
After my roommate got a vegetable spiralizer for her birthday, my mom sent me one of her favorite vegetable noodle recipes to try. This Guilt Free Pasta recipe by Lucy Wyndham-Read (who by the way is my new healthy living role model) is a quick and easy veggie noodle dish that will definitely become a go-to in my kitchen. But the stand-out from the recipe is the tomato sauce. The sauce takes only about five minutes to make and heat up and requires only a few healthy and fresh ingredients, making it a much healthier alternative to the sugar-filled pasta sauces we buy at the grocery store. Try out the recipe below and I bet you will never buy store-made sauce again!
- Cut tomato in half and grate (placing the inside of the tomato on the grater) everything but the peel into a bowl.
- Add a drop of extra virgin olive oil and any spices of your choosing (I used pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and paprika)
- Heat in a sauce pan over medium heat and enjoy!
2. Cinnamon, not sugar
I have been eating the same breakfast of whole rolled oats, cinnamon, and a banana for years (seriously, ask any of my roommates over the past four years). With the natural sugar of the banana and sweetness of the cinnamon, I never need to add any additional sugar to my breakfast of choice. Recently, I’ve started to put cinnamon in my coffee, too and it has been a major game changer. I typically drink black coffee, sometimes with a tiny splash of almond milk, but a few dashes of cinnamon completely transforms what can sometimes be a strong and bitter cup of black coffee to something much sweeter and tastier. Try replacing cinnamon for sugar in your coffee, oatmeal, and anything else you want to experiment with. Let me know if you find any other game changing cinnamon companions 🙂
3. Knowledge is Power
When eating out, it’s easy to make unhealthy choices from the sheer factor of ignorance. Most restaurants don’t include the nutritional information of food and drinks in the menu, so it’s up to us to do our homework and know more than just the monetary cost of what we’re ordering. There’s no need to go crazy and obsess over the calorie number, fat percentage, and grams of sugar in every item you ever order, but it’s important to have a general knowledge of the nutritional information of your go-to food and drink choices when you’re out. For example, I love a good plate of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict for brunch, and while several of the ingredients in this dish have good nutritional value (salmon and eggs), the hollandaise sauce smothered on top contains a lot of calories and fat. This doesn’t mean I should never order eggs benny, but knowing the nutritional information that makes up one of my favorite brunch options might led me to ask for the sauce on the side or only order it every once in a while as a special treat. Knowledge of calories, fat, and sugar should not be used to restrict ourselves, but instead as a resource to help us stay on track with our personal health and fitness goals.
4. Explore the Pasta Shelf
Can you tell that I’m a fan of pasta? 😉 Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Trader Joe’s wide selection of healthy pasta alternatives. For under $3, you can score a bag of pasta made from brown rice and quinoa, red lentils, or black beans. The verdict? No, I don’t feel like I’m 10 years old again eating seconds and thirds of my mom’s spaghetti (my favorite childhood meal of all time), but these alternative pastas are super tasty! If you’re new to these healthy pasta options, I would suggest starting with the quinoa or red lentil noodles before moving on to the black bean rotini, which has a stronger taste.
What health tricks are you using this summer? I’m always looking for new tips, so share yours in the comment section below or DM me on Instagram 🙂
Corbett Double Bead Chain Necklace c/o House of Urban/Express Bandeau Off The Shoulder Top/Uniqlo Skinny Jeans/Marble Handbag c/o Policy Handbags/Cat Eye Twin-Beam Sunglasses c/o Deux Souls
Photos by: Lauren Listor