Top 10 Quick & Healthy Summer Dinners

Whether you’re having a busy week at home, or spending the weekend at the cottage, quick and easy dinners are ideal for summer. Summer is a time for freshness, few ingredients, and making meals with vegetables that are ripe and in season.

Here are my top 10 favourite recipes for quick summer dinners. These are easy to put together, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. That means you can spend more time at the lake, with your family, or drinking wine with friends.

Tip – a lot of summer recipes will use fruit next to proteins like beef, fish, or chicken. While this may be delicious, it puts strain on your digestive system because different foods break down at different speeds.

Instead, have fruit up to 30 minutes before eating your main meal. If you’d prefer to save fruit for a sweet dessert, wait a minimum of 30 minutes (preferably 1-2 hours) after eating so your main meal can digest before eating fruit or dessert.

You’ll find this helps with bloating, gas, and acid reflux because it produces better digestion.

1. Chickpea Salad

A vegan take on the classic egg salad sandwich. Let’s face it, sandwiches are easy, especially when you’re on the go. Make the chickpea filling ahead of time so you (or your family) can whip up a sandwich in no time. You won’t even break a sweat.

2. Shrimp & Snow Pea Salad

Craving a lighter dinner on a hot summer night? This is your recipe! With snow peas, crispy radish and protein from shrimp, look no father for a complete meal. Add some avocado slices, or cashews to top it off with healthy fats and you’re good to go.

3. Guacamole Pasta with Sautéed Beef Strips

Your hearty 30 minute meal is here! This recipe uses avocado and Greek yogurt as a dressing for this noodle stir-fry. I’d sub the fettuccini in this recipe for zucchini noodles to increase your veggie count for the day.

4. Poached Egg Avocado Salad

Eggs on salad = genius! For a lower carb option, omit the quinoa and add more grains. I’d swap the pistachios for whole almonds or pecans. This one is quick and easy for breakfast or dinner.

5. Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

For summer finger foods, lettuce wraps are everyone’s best friend. You get all of the good stuff without filling up on refined grains. A taste of Thai is easily achieved in this quick and easy to prepare recipe. Make the filling ahead of time and top your lettuce boats as you need them. *Swap olive oil for coconut oil.

6. Halibut with Tomato Basil Salsa

Fresh tomatoes and basil make a great topping for just about anything. Fish is an easy go-to protein choice for a quick weeknight dinner. Use fresh or frozen halibut (or fish of your choice) for this recipe and watch it come to live in minutes with the salsa topping.

7. 5 Min Spicy Asian Salad

A change from the traditional lettuce, cucumber, tomato salad of my Italian upbringing. This salad’s got zest! And it’s ready in 5 minutes. I suggest cooking chicken breast ahead of time to chop over the salad.

8. Raw Spring Zucchini Salad

Have you heard of a courgette? I hadn’t either. It’s the French term for a raw baby zucchini, and it’s delicious in this salad. Chop the ingredients by hand or shave them into ribbons for the most elegant salad you’ve ever served yourself. Either way, between the fresh dill and mint, this one’s a keeper.

9. For the Wild Rice Salad

Who said salad had to be green? Sometimes (especially on rainy days) it’s nice to have a heartier one-bowl meal. This recipe provides. Wild rice is a great source of fiber and vitamins. Oh, and I learned another French term “mange tout” in this recipe refers to peas.

10. Chilled Parsley & Green Pea Soup

I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of cold soups…until this one. Delicious, fresh green peas plus the detoxing benefits of parsley combine to make a satisfying bowl of soup, warm or cold. Dig in, you’ll find it’s delicious!

Summer is a time for togetherness and enjoying fresh ingredients! These ten winning recipes will let you do just that, with their simple steps and creative combinations of fresh ingredients, you’ll have time for what you love and be well fed.

Looking for more resources on clean eating? This infographic breaks down the main points for you.

Bon appetite!

5 Tips for Staying Healthy at Summer Parties

With summer comes entertaining. Sunshine, back yard BBQs and togetherness. But sometimes this makes it difficult to stick to a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to. Here are my top 5 tips for attending parties with ease.

  1. Set yourself up for success—this happens long before you even get the invitation to a social event. If you eat well and take great care of yourself on a daily basis, one meal that’s indulgent or out of the ordinary will make less of an impact.
  2. Know your crowd – not everyone is on the same health journey as you (I’m sure you’re well aware of this by now). So know what you’re getting into and make a plan to take care of your needs. Bring a salad, mix your own healthy drink, or arrive with a bottle of water. If you’re weary of arriving with your own food or drinks, let your host know you have allergies (or preferences) and you’ll bring something to contribute. You won’t offend your host, they will be happy that you’re looked after, even if you brought your own meal. Remember, spending time together is the goal of any gathering. It doesn’t have to be about the food.
  3. Visualize to create your guidelines—much like a pro athlete uses visualization to see themselves winning a game, use this technique to plan how you want your evening (or trip) to go. If you visualize yourself in the situation you can anticipate your needs and make sure you have what you’ll require to take care of yourself. Set guidelines for yourself based on how you want your event to go. Want to make it to the early morning yoga class the next day? Set an expectation on what time you’ll be in bed.
  4. Know your drink number— remember a time when you had “a few too many?” Get to know what your drink number is—this is the number of drinks you can have in an evening without going overboard, and still feel great the next day. Before you leave the house, decide how many drinks you’ll have that evening. You’ll be more likely to space out your drinks and have water in between if you know your guideline is 3 glasses for the night.
  5. Focus on connection—make it a priority to truly connect with people at your next gathering. Try to learn one new thing about each person in the room. When you feel engaged and connected, it’s fulfilling on a deep level. The satisfaction you’ll feel from connecting with another person will fill you up more than food or drinks ever could. After all, isn’t that why you’re out?

Living a healthy lifestyle and taking great care of your body isn’t all about rules and restrictions. It’s about setting boundaries that stand up for what you really, truly want—to feel and look great now and for years to come.

Enjoy the BBQs, road trips, and patio parties this summer. Use these tips to help you stand up for what you really want—to be healthy and feel great. The boundaries you practice now will become comfortable habits that in time will feel effortless.

Top 5 Tips for Hosting Healthy Parties

When you’re hosting a party it’s natural to want to please your guests. You want everyone to have a good time, to enjoy, and maybe (deep down) you want them to think you’re awesome. Inviting people into your space is an opportunity to share your life(style) with them.

Be the Host You’d Want to Have

It’s easy to get stuck in the mentality of pleasing people with what you think they’ll want to see at a party. That’s how old standbys (like chips and pop) end up being staples at get-togethers.

As the host, it’s up to you to set the tone for the gathering. Want everyone to feel light and healthy? It’s your choice with the food and drinks you offer. Here are some tips for being a healthy host:

  1. Make the main meal a healthy one—it’s frustrating to go to an event where your only meal option is an unhealthy one. Save your guests the strife by preparing a healthy, well-rounded meal. Let them choose whether they want to indulge in dessert, or snacks. In general, everyone has more fun when they eat good quality, healthy food. There’s no “food coma” feeling. Guests feel energized and happy after eating. Isn’t that what you want at a party? Nutritious food contributes to your body helping to balance the effect of, say, wine or dessert.
  2.  Have one “fun food” option— since your main meal is taken care of in a healthy way, throw in a “better for you” option for an appetizer. At my weekend gathering I made potato skins appetizer. It was a crowd pleaser and my guests felt good about indulging in it because they knew they were also eating well.
  3. Offer a Mocktail— one of the things I hear most often from people trying to live a healthy is that drinks are hard to stay away from. Let’s ditch the idea that you can’t or won’t have fun without a drink. Offer guests a delicious non-alcoholic drink option. Put it in a fancy glass. You may be surprised how many people would partake in your non-alcoholic drink. Plus, guests can always spike their mocktail if that’s more their style. At least the option is there.
  4. Plan an Activity—if the main event at a get together is food and drinks, people are more likely to overindulge. When you shift the focus to a game or activity you show guests a good time without it being about what or how much they’re consuming. Foodless fun is refreshing. Try a board/card game, an activity like Frisbee, croquet, or bocce, or prepare a list of questions as conversation starters and let everyone pick from a hat.
  5. Ask guests about food allergies—sensitivities and allergies are extremely common. Let’s get used to the idea of asking guests about their restrictions. When this is part of the conversation it allows guests to feel relaxed, safe and cared for, even if they have to bring their own gluten-free bun to your BBQ.

A note on Pop and chips – if they’re there, people will eat them. If they’re not, no one will miss them.

If you have a variety of finger foods that satisfy different tastes, no one will be looking for chips. As for pop, offer different options for mixing drinks and include fresh fruit for garnish. Depending on your crowd, the absence of the sugary soda will fly under the radar.

Sometimes what you think guests want, they really won’t miss. Share your healthy eats and offer a few delicious indulgences to guests. Your party will be a hit no matter what if you offer variety and address your guests needs.

What is Holistic Nutrition Anyway?

What is Holistic Nutrition Anyway?

A brief description of the principles of Holistic Nutrition and how this science and practice can take your life from good to great.

Holistic Nutrition differs from dietetics and other medical practices because it regards you as a whole being, on a body, mind, and spirit level.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you were to eat the perfect diet (whatever that is):

  • You exercise daily (sometimes twice),
  • You stay away from junk food and alcohol on weekends,
  • You have healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

You’d stand a chance at being a really healthy person, right?

But what if you’re doing all of this and you hate the job you work at, or your home life was toxic, or you had low self-esteem and were always thinking negatively. Would you still stand the same chance at being uber healthy?

Probably not.

Healthy food and exercise alone won’t make you a vibrant, energetic, thriving person.

There’s more to it than that.

Holistic nutrition addresses you as a whole person. It addresses the ‘more’—your relationships, thoughts and feelings, as well as your relationship to food and your body.

Foundational Concepts of Holistic Nutrition:

  1. All of your thoughts, activities, and actions influence your energy level and wellbeing. Each of these factors has the potential to increase or deplete your energy and wellbeing.
  2. Holistic nutrition recognizes the interconnection of emotions and physical symptoms. All physical symptoms, conditions or ailments have a corresponding emotional component and vice versa.
  3. Holistic nutrition is an integrative discipline that complements other natural approaches as well as traditional medicine.
  4. Holistic nutrition recognizes that everyone is biochemically unique. This means that nutrient needs differ from person to person. There is no one diet best suited for everyone.
  5. Holistic nutrition does not subscribe to any one particular diet. Instead, it promotes a sustainable way of eating, the consumption of good quality whole foods and responsible growing practices.

Often our food intake is one of the last things we look to for improving our health, when really, it’s the most important. All disease begins in the gut.

If you’re dealing with chronic ailments, food allergies, or random symptoms that don’t seem connected, chances are holistic nutrition is the missing piece to your healthcare puzzle.

Curious about what holistic nutrition can do for you? Book your free, no obligation discovery call right now to find out how holistic nutrition can improve your daily life and give you energy for years to come.