Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beat the Heat with These Super Cool Foods

Beat the Heat with These Super Cool Foods
Chicago Nutritionist Offers Insight on Summer Heat Waves 
By: Amanda Skrip

It may be hot outside, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose your cool! Stocking your kitchen with the right foods will keep you chilled out all summer long. In addition to eating these fresh picks, be sure to drink plenty of water and eat lightly! Nutritional expert Amanda Skrip shares her five foods to eat to stay cool below:

1. Eat Your Water

Water rich produce like watermelon, cucumbers, radishes, and even leafy greens will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated. They are low in calories, easy to digest, and rich in anti-oxidants. Add cucumber or melon to a pitcher of water for extra flavor. Use fresh cut cruditĂ©s to dip into spreads and salsas rather than salty, fatty, and dehydrating chips. Spend extra time in the produce section and at green markets this summer, and you’ll be fresh and glowing through the fall. 

2. Get Zesty

Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are some of the most cooling fruits around. They are also great at aiding in digestion and breaking down fatty foods. Keep citrus on hand to make salad dressings or to squeeze onto plain veggies. Adding lemon or lime to plain water is a great way to liven up the flavor – and to get a giant dose of Vitamin C. Your strengthened immunity will keep summertime colds at bay.    

3. Stay Fresh

Herbs like mint, basil, cilantro, and parsley have naturally cooling and soothing properties. Their fresh flavor will liven your spirit as well as your plate! Get in the habit of adding fresh herbs to your cooking. They are also great tossed into salads and blended into smoothies.  

4. Spice it Up

Spicing it up will cool you down! Adding heat to your plate with ginger, chilies, cayenne pepper, and black pepper might make your mouth a little fiery, but will help cool your body’s internal flame. Grate fresh ginger into marinades or sprinkle chili flakes on bland chicken or vegetables. 

AVOID: Oily, fatty, and salty foods, soda and sugary beverages, they make it difficult to digest [the rest of your diet - SR] 

Suggested Recipes (SR):

Asian Veggie Lettuce Cups - The Lemon Bowl
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites - Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence
Cold Cucumber Salad - Momma's Meals
Simple Olive Oil Pasta - Chocolate Moosey
Blueberry Mint Lemonade - Pescetarian Journal
Watermelon Agua Fresca - Juanita’s Cocina
Coco - Limeade - What Smells So Good?

About Amanda Skrip: Amanda is a natural foods educator, chef, health coach, and wellness expert. Amanda received her culinary training at the Natural Gourmet Institute and continued her nutrition education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Amanda works with a variety of clients to create small shifts that have a big impact on health, weight and energy. Amanda teaches public cooking classes at Whole Foods Market in Chicago, is the resident chef of Bump Club and Beyond, and is a nutritional coach for Ruth’s Hemp Foods. She has been featured in DailyCandy, Vital Juice, Mindful Metropolis and has appeared on I Am Healthy Radio and NBC Chicago. For more information, please visit: www.amandaskrip.com

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About Me

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I started my "working life" as a holistic and allopathic nutritional consultant with a love of cooking. Teaching the value of wholesome meal choices to families became close to my heart after I battled a long history of struggles with weight and health, and the passion for teaching led me into where I am now. My blog, which focuses on "bringing good taste to healthier food" through creative use of whole grains, fresh produce and acknowledging the importance of the occasional treat, also features a wealth of "specialty diet" friendly recipes for gluten-, egg-, dairy- and sugar- tree nut-free items that everyone can enjoy without alienating those who need them.

Overall, I want to bring back the desire for good quality, homemade, (mostly) healthy food into the hearts and kitchens of families so that the next generation will be less box-reliant than mine. I firmly believe that any “homemade” food, even when labelled as "naughty", is a more wholesome treat than pre-packaged, cookie-cutter junk. With the knowledge of good food (and how to cook good food) as a base, a healthy lifestyle can follow, and then anything is possible!