Get Fit for Summer: Almonds

 

Get Fit For Summer!

If you're looking for a healthy nut to add to your morning bowl of yogurt and granola, then pick up a bag of almonds. Almonds are high in healthy fats and protein. Stocked with monosaturated fats and protein, almonds are heart-healthy, and when combined with fiber, help keep you full longer.

In fact, dieters that eat almonds tend to experience decreases in LDL, or the "bad" type of cholesterol.

Almonds have great health benefits. Stocked with Vitamin E and B-17, almonds help decrease the risk of cancer. Even better, almonds actually encourage good bacteria to grow in your intestinal track, improving your digestive health.

For a delicious, almond-packed treat, try these almond and orange biscotti. Breakfast is better with a bowl of almond-spiked granola. For more than just mixing almonds into your breakfast, try making almond milk!

Top 5 Foods For Your Skin

Not many people have enough time to eat right, plan out a skin regiment and have time leftover to catch up on Top Chef. Thankfully, you can accomplish two of the three in one fell swoop. Be sure to stock up on these top 5 foods as they make for great skin boosters: 

* Sweet Potatoes: To combat against those pesky wrinkles, start out by eating more sweet potatoes. Vitamin C helps to stimulate the production of collagen. Papaya and carrots are great as well! Try mixing sweet potatoes into Whole-Wheat Sweet Potato Coconut Muffins or Sweet Potato and Lamb Hash.

* Almonds: Vitamin E is a great antioxidant, which helps to defend yourself against sun damage. Almonds are chock full of them! Easy to grab a handful to eat on the go, almonds are also a good source of magnesium and protein. Nuts also happen to be a great power snack.

* Cooked Tomatoes: Containing a trifecta of goodness, tomatoes have antioxidants, vitamins A and C and lycopene, which help eliminate free-radicals that can cause your skin to age prematurely. Cooking the tomatoes helps to concentrate and keep in all those helpful boosters. For a healthy cooked tomato dish, try this Five-Ingredient Tomato Basil Soup.

* Spinach: Popeye knew what he was getting into when he downed large amounts of spinach. The folate levels in spinach help maintain and repair DNA, which can reduce cancer-cell growth in your skin. It also contains a plethora of other vitamins including vitamin E and vitamin A. Don't worry, there are plenty of delicious recipes that call for spinach so you won't bore of it!

* Canned Tuna: Seemingly out of place in this list, canned tuna is actually a great skin tightener. It contains selenium which helps preserve elastin and allows your skin to maintain its tightness and smoothness. Just be sure to eat it and not use it as a face mask!

Easy How To Make Almond Milk

How To

Whether you're lactose-intolerant or just a nut fiend, almond milk is a delicious alternative to dairy products. Non-dairy milks are tasty, and many can be made for little cost. Expensive at the supermarket and often filled with sweeteners and additives, almond milk is an easy do-it-yourself project for a rainy afternoon. Just follow these easy steps to milk the almond for all it's worth.

1. Soak almonds in water. To facilitate the milking process, you need to soak your almonds in water to soften them up. Soaking overnight in the refrigerator is a safe bet for maximum softness. 2. Drain and rinse the almonds. 3. Put in a blender and cover with clean water. 4. Blend on low to break down the almonds. If you need to, stir occasionally to help the blender along. 5. Increase to maximum speed to liquefy the almonds. Add more water if the blender seems to struggle. At this point, add any sweeteners or spices-try cinnamon and nutmeg. 6. When smooth, strain the almond milk through cheesecloth into a bowl. Technically, you are now "milking" the almond. 7. Once the straining is finished, store in the refrigerator. The milk keeps about 3 days in the coldest part of the fridge.

If you have any extra almonds left over, try making this farro-orange salad. Drink your almond milk very cold with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice, an refreshing treat for when spring starts warming up.

Sources: Ohnuts Asonoma Garden Rawfoods Livingfoods

Meat-Free Protein Packed Foods That Are Easy To Grab And Go!

Vegetarian Column By Marcus Samuelsson

As a vegetarian, finding good sources of protein when you're on the go or just need a quick snack can seem like an obstacle. Fortunately, protein is found in a lot of delicious, tasty, meat-free foods that are easy to grab and go!

Almonds and almond butter are also a great way to get a protein fix. Mix almonds into a trail mix, throw them into your granola, or just eat them plain, they're delicious! Almond butter is delicious on toast, bagels, and even as an ingredient in salad dressings. Almond products are a delicious way to sneak protein in to your diet.

One surprising protein-packed treat is Greek yogurt. The way that this type of yogurt is processed (or rather, less processed) allows for more fats and nutrients to stay in the final product. Regular yogurts can be high in chemicals, hormones, and sugars and don't have the same protein content. Many grocery stores even sell these in individual serving sizes! Try greek yogurt with a dollop of honey and a spoonful of that protein-packed almond butter for a filling breakfast, or fold into stew for a creamy yet healthy alternative to sour cream.

Lastly, organic eggs are a fantastic way to get protein. When eggs are gathered from healthy, happy hens, they contain all the nutrients that would make it possible for a chick to survive during incubation. All that can be yours! Eggs can be fried and put on top of just about anything - salads are one of my favorites. You can also drop egg into broth-based soups and cook it in or hard-boil eggs to make egg salad.

Any one of these foods is a simple and tasty way to get more protein in even when you've got little time!