Hydrating Summer Salad Recipe 💦

Summer is here, which for most 20-Somethings means rooftop bars, rosé season, tanning in Central Park, and weekends in the Hamptons.  This also means dehydration, dehydration, and more dehydration. As part of summer wellness, it is so so important to stay hydrated. It is important to not only drink plenty of water, but also eat hydrating foods. With summer season here, in addition to my weekly travel schedule, hydration is key to how I feel. I made this simple and delicious 7- ingredient salad recipe that includes hydrating, fresh ingredients. This recipe also contains fermented red beet and cabbage, which are rich in probiotics to add the good bacteria to your gut and promote a healthy microbiome.

wildbrine

See recipe below:

Fresh spinach

2 Orange slices

2 Grapefruit slices

1/4 Avocado

2 spoonfuls of Wildbrine fermented Red Beet & Cabbage

Handful of pumpkin seeds

Primal Kitchen Lemon & Turmeric Salad Dressing

 

Delicious and incredibly easy to make!

Work Travel & Frozen Foods

After a week of traveling for work, I love waking up knowing that I don’t have to rush to Whole Foods or order Ubereats for food that day. I can wake-up Friday mornings ready- to- go and not feel bogged down by grocery runs or spend extra cash to get food delivered. This is because I keep a constant supply of organic produce in my freezer.

Since I travel for work every week, I am only really home on weekends. Frozen organic produce has been a complete game-changer for me. I no longer go to the grocery store feeling guilty knowing that I’ll have to toss any fresh produce that I didn’t eat over the weekend on Monday. Which used to happen often! On weekends is when we typically see our friends and grab brunch or dinner. Between eating meals out and trying to get groceries for such a short period of time, it wasn’t working out. I also tried ordering all of my meals for the weekend or eating out, but as I’m sure you can understand, it is pricey and also caused me to consume way more sodium, soy, sugar, etc. than I would have if I was cooking myself.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

So alas, my move to frozen produce. Frozen produce is great because it keeps fresh for long periods of time. I often stock my freezer with Whole Foods organic frozen berries and spinach or kale for my smoothies (which makes my smoothies taste way better and thicker than using fresh produce and ice). I also stock various organic frozen vegetable blends that can easily be heated up and sauteed with garlic and oil. These are cheap and incredibly easy meal options to have readily available.  I love putting cucumbers in my smoothies, but have never seen these in frozen form. I buy a fresh cucumber (one at a time, because only 4-5 slices are used in my smoothies), and freeze the slices that I do not use that weekend.

Today, my morning smoothie consisted of:

A couple spoonfuls of blueberries

5 pieces of frozen cucumber

As much frozen kale as I could fit in my individual Ninja blender cup

A spoonful of almond butter

About 1 cup of whole Foods organic almond milk (carrageenan free!)

A scoop of Primal Foods Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut protein powder

Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Topped with cacao nibs so it tastes like a treat!

This smoothie was delicious, hydrating, and relatively inexpensive. It also kept me satisfied for hours, which I love because I don’t have to constantly think of where I’m going to find my next healthy meal or snack.

 

 

 

Hydrating Smoothie Recipe 💦

Summer is here and staying hydrated is a key part of summer wellness. It is important to not only drink plenty of water, but also eat hydrating foods. I love making  smoothies for breakfast or even as a sweet-like treat. One of my favorite summer ingredients to add to my smoothies are cucumbers.

Cucumbers are currently in season and are super hydrating. I like adding them to my smoothies for an extra taste of freshness and hydration. It makes me feel like I’m drinking cucumber water at a spa. See below smoothie recipe incorporating cucumbers as an ingredient:

Handful of Frozen blueberries

1 cup Frozen greens (spinach, kale, etc)

4 slices Cucumber

1/5 Avocado or a scoop of almond butter

Handful of Goji berries

Splash of Cinnamon

Scoop of Collagen fuel vanilla coconut protein or other protein powder 

Approx. 1 cup of Coconut water (add a little at a time until you get the right consistency)

I like using frozen berries and greens in my smoothies. This avoids the use of ice and makes the smoothie thicker and have a better consistency. Frozen produce are also full of nutrients. In comparison to fresh produce at the grocery store, which are picked far before they ripen so that they ripen at the store, frozen produce are picked when they are ripe at their optimal nutrient levels. Additionally, frozen produce is generally less expensive than fresh produce and of course, keeps longer. Berries also contain relatively low sugar content in comparison to other fruits. This smoothie is primarily greens and only contains a small amount of berries, which prevents this turning from a healthy smoothie into pure sugar. 

I love adding avocados to my smoothies. It adds a bit of healthy fat and makes the smoothie thicker and more filling. I sometimes add protein powders to my smoothie. For this smoothie, I like Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut – it is delicious and full of collagen which is great for your hair, skin, and nails. I LOVE coconut water. It is hydrating, contains electrolytes, is natural, and a great add to smoothies. My favorite brand is The Harmless Coconut. It is USDA Organic,  and tastes so fresh. A lot of Coconut waters are not organic or don’t require refrigeration and I can definitely taste the difference. 

Mix these ingredients up in your blender and enjoy! 

Do you even know what you’re eating?

What are you eating? Do you even know what you’re eating? If you are an average 20-Something, chances are you probably aren’t aware of all of the ingredients you’re consuming on a daily basis. As 20-Somethings, we grab bagels to go on the way to work and to us, cooking typically means “order Seamless.” We eat bars that are seemingly healthy and wonder why we feel like crap. Food labels trick us into thinking we are eating healthy while we are unknowingly consuming crazy amounts of sugar, gluten, soy, sodium, and preservatives.

In the words of Mark Hyman, “if it has a label or a barcode, you should probably avoid it.” Don’t let healthily seeming food labels saying “all natural” trick you either. The ingredients list is the first place to look. I am all about eating organic. I love organic foods and make a huge effort to eat organic as often as possible. However, the ingredients list still needs to be checked. Even if the ingredient list is organic, organic sugar is still sugar.

Check  your food labels. If you’re grandma didn’t eat it, it’s probably not good for you. If the label contains an ingredient whose name you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not good for you. To put it simpler:

Eat Real Food.

By real food I mean fresh fruits and veggies, unprocessed grains, raw nuts, and high-quality meats. These foods are full of natural vitamins and minerals and promote healthy digestion and higher energy levels. These foods are delicious in the natural forms and are devoid of the added sugar, salt, and other ingredients that we do not need in our diet. I have dappled in several different ways of eating over the years- vegan, keto, etc. But eating real foods gets me feeling great every single time.

Now you might be thinking- eating real food isn’t practical, I mean I can’t readily carry salads with me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks. Or you might be thinking, eating real food is so expensive, I can’t afford to do that. You know what else is expensive? Those bars that you pack in your bag that cost $3 each. It is possible to eat real food even if you’re constantly on the go or have to eat out. Take it from me, I spend 25% of my week on an airplane, in an uber, or driving a car.

I got this delicious salad out this week. Unfortunately, now that I travel every week, my cooking is restricted to only weekends. I’ve found what works for me is whenever I’m switching to a new client site, I research restaurants in the area so that I come prepared to make healthy food decisions. For this particular salad, I picked the “build your own” option. I like build your own because it allows you to chose exactly what you want in the bowl- and more importantly ask about each of the ingredients in the bowl. Yes, I’m THAT annoying person, if it is not a raw ingredient (let’s say sautéd spinach), I will ask exactly what it is sautéd in. Let me tell you, I have found that there is soy and sugar hidden in everything. This salad contains a healthy portion of leafy greens, zucchini, cooked veggies (as I’m trying to eat more ‘warm’ food), and an avocado and tahini dressing for some healthy fats. Tahini dressing is surprisingly easy to make on your own and delicious.

I will begin to share recipes of real food I like to cook. It doesn’t require the purchase of several ingredients and it doesn’t require a lot of effort. I’m also a firm believer that you can sauté almost any vegetable in garlic and oil and it will taste delicious, but maybe that’s just the Italian side of me!

Welcome to 20-Something wellness 👏👏

20-Something wellness is about being as well and healthy as possible while still enjoying 20-Something life. 20-Something wellness believes in eating organic and foods in the most natural and unprocessed forms possible. But it also believes in mimosas at brunch on Saturdays. While some regard this as a “cheat meal” they are usually referring to a singular drink or one slice of pizza. But we are 20-Somethings. We go to beer gardens and friend’s bbqs on summer Saturdays. 20-Something wellness isn’t about perfection, nor does it strive to be. So relax, you don’t have to torment yourself because you mistakenly ate a cashew as a nut vs. a legume on your Whole30 diet (trust me, been there). It’s about balance. It’s about feeling as good as possible, while still being able to enjoy time out with friends. It’s about wellness that is practical because who the hell has time (or honestly wants to spend it) to soak beans for 3 days to maintain a raw food diet? Or wants to cook recipes that require the purchase of 10+ ingredients (most of which I will probably never use again)?

20 something wellness isn’t just going to place restrictions, but also help share solutions. Because we are 20-Something’s and don’t all (except me) want to spend our time researching this. For example, a lot of us know that the types of makeup or cleaning supplies we are using have high toxicity levels, but what the hell is safe to use?

I’m not a nutrition expert. I am not a yoga instructor. I’m a management consultant who’s health and nutrition obsessed. I am a marathoner. I am a former varsity athlete. I am a 20-Something.

I really got interested in nutrition after college. A vacation to Europe inspired me to start cooking my meals from scratch and start eating real food. I spend most of my free time reading nutrition books and listening to nutrition and wellness podcasts. I also love cooking. I’m one of those people who loves farmers market and legit gets excited grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

I wanted to start this blog to share some of my learnings during my own health journey. There is so much information out there and so many food products, eating healthy can be completely confusing. I want to share some of the ways I’ve found to maintain as healthy of a lifestyle that I can while constantly traveling for work and still going out with friends. Hopefully this will help make someone else’s health journey a little bit easier.