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  • Cooking, Food, GirlSpring.com, Health, Healthy Eating

    My go-to healthy snacks

    image of snacks

    1. Banana and Peanut Butter

    This is my favorite snack. It is healthy and easy. Banana’s give you potassium and help with digestion. Peanut butter provides you with protein, which keeps you full for a few hours!

    2. Yogurt and granola

    My favorite yogurt is either Chobani plain with honey and granola or Chobani Vanilla with some granola. This is my favorite pair, I get healthy bacteria for my gut and the granola has protein which helps me stay full.

    3.  KIND Bars

    I love kind bars, they don’t have a lot of ingredients and I can just grab them when I am running out of the door. They are made with simple ingredients, include protein, and aren’t packed full of sugar. They are my guilt-free snack.

    4. Grapes and Reduced-fat cheese stick

    There is no better pair than grapes and cheese. I love both of these. I love incorporating lots of fruit in my diet… I get a sugar boost from grapes and cheese is low-carb and also a good source of protein.

    5. Rice cake and avocado

    This is a new combo for me that I’ve found is really good and really filling! I love avocado toast but when I am cutting back a little bit on bread, I use a plain rice cake and it’s still really good!

    These are all of my favorite snacks that I like to rotate throughout the week, they are all pretty healthy and give you a boost so you can make it through the day and make it to your next meal.

    Happy snacking!

  • Cooking, Food

    You HAVE to Try This Perfect Avocado Toast Recipe

    You Have To Try This Perfect Avocado Recipe

    The Perfect Avocado Toast

     

    A recipe so delicious – I had to share!

    I have tried so many different ways to eat avocado toast. However, I have discovered the way it is made best. When I first tried avocado toast, I wasn’t into it and did not understand the hype. But then, I had someone make it the right way for me and wow – SO good! All you have to do is follow my simple instructions below.

    I have had avocado toast from highly rated breakfast spots but none as good as mine!

    Here’s what you need: 

    • 1 avocado
    • 1 slice of whole grain bread
    • Red pepper flakes
    • Himalayan pink salt
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 egg (optional)
    • 1 lemon (optional)
    1. Cut avocado in half. I usually only use one half and save the rest for later.
    2. Toast bread. You can use a toaster or the oven (I am in college and don’t have a toaster.)
    3. Take one avocado half and scoop it out. Then, use a fork to mash the avocado while adding a splash of olive oil.
    4. Spread the avocado onto the toasted bread. Sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes to your liking.
    5. If you want to add an egg on top for a balanced breakfast. Boil an egg, chop it up, and top off your toast!
    6. If desired, slice up a lemon and squeeze on top. It adds a zesty, delicious flavor!

    It is so GOOD, extremely filling, and so easy to make. I also like to experiment with different seasonings. Lemon pepper is random, but I think it tastes really good on top.

    This avocado toast is so delicious I have to refrain from eating it every single day.

     

  • Cooking, Food, Health, Holiday

    How to Have a Gluten Free Christmas

    How to Have a Gluten Free Christmas

    Recently, I got tested by my doctor and found out that I was gluten intolerant.

    Do I ignore this diagnosis most days? Yes. If I didn’t, would I feel a whole lot better? Absolutely. Around the holidays, it seems impossible to avoid gluten. The holiday season tempts me at every family get together or holiday celebration. I want to eat every bread, cookie, and a piece of cake at holiday parties.

    For starters, a lot of people don’t know what gluten is or what types of foods have gluten.

    According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye.” Gluten helps food maintain their shape. It acts as “a glue that holds food together.” Basically, gluten is found in basically anything made with dough or batter. Gluten appears most often in bread, cakes, cookies, etc. What does NOT have gluten, however, are foods made with rice, corn, or oats. This means corn chips and corn tortillas, rice-based cereal, rice noodles, and oatmeal are safe to eat as long as they don’t have any wheat flour added.

    It’s safe and healthy for anyone to avoid foods with gluten. To an extent.

    Those with Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disorder diagnosed by a doctor) must avoid gluten every day. As a result, people prevent painful symptoms. Learn more about Celiac symptoms and treatments at the Celiac Disease Foundation website: https://celiac.org/

    Those who don’t have Celiac, but have gluten intolerance or sensitivity (like me!) should still avoid gluten. You can still consume a small amount of gluten. However, you may experience problems such as migraines, anxiety, depression, upset stomach, fatigue, abdominal pain, and iron deficiency.

    Before you make any diet changes, consult a dietician or medical professional.

    For me, an extremely food-motivated person.

    That means I have a hard time practicing self-control around foods I want to eat. Especially bread, cookies, cakes, and biscuits. Even though I know that I’ll feel better if I cut them out of my diet completely. If you feel like you may have any form of gluten intolerance, stay gluten-free for this holiday season. In January, see if you feel any different at the beginning of next year.

    Here are some recipes that will help you accomplish this without feeling left out from all the delicious holiday food:

    Grape and Cheese Board:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/jkk3az5okpjrcu

     

    Popcorn Snowballs:

    Find the recipe here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/141793088243731373/

     

    Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip (serve with gluten-free crackers/pretzels):

    Find the recipe here: https://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/cream-cheese-cranberry-dip/2/#wprm-recipe-container-44418

     

    Cornflake Butterscotch Crunchies:

    Find the recipe here: https://www.greatgrubdelicioustreats.com/butterscotch-crunchies/

     

    White Chocolate Candy Cane Heart Pops:

    Find the recipe here: https://onelittleproject.com/how-to-make-candy-cane-hearts/

     

    Cranberry Barbeque Meatballs:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/tecyljqkzlrpin

     

    Peppermint Popcorn:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/ssbkacz7k7emnj

     

  • Cooking, Health, Healthy Eating, Tips

    5 Tips On How To Eat Healthy

    You’ve heard of em. The Atkins Diet. The Zone Diet. Vegetarian Diet. Vegan Diet. Weight Watchers Diet. South Beach Diet. Raw Food Diet. Mediterranean Diet. With all these different types of diets, it can be overwhelming and hard to choose! But don’t worry- I’m here to help. The diet I think you should be on? None of them. I don’t think you should be on a diet! I think you should feed your body with things that are good for it- not that punish it. Too often, young girls get caught up in dieting because they feel this is the only way to get healthy! But that’s far from the truth. Here’s 4 tips on how to eat healthy- without the diet.

    1. Eat clean

    The hardest part about eating healthy is actually doing it. Once you’ve started eating healthy and you see the way your body looks, and the way your body feels, it becomes much, much easier. So, what exactly does eating clean mean? It means nourishing  your body with foods that will help it, not hinder it. I know Mcdonalds is good. I know how addicting a bag of chips is. I know how good cheese is.. trust me. But these foods will not help your body!

    1. Drink (lots of!) water

    One of the hardest things for me is drinking water throughout the day. Did you know you should be drinking half a gallon on water.. per day? Especially in the summer heat, water intake is essential to your health. Drinking water may not be the most exciting thing- but the positive affects it has on your body are amazing!

    1. Focus on on quality, not quantity

    A myth about eating right is that you have to eat a lot less- which is NOT true! Don’t worry too much about how much you’re eating, worry about what you’re eating. When you decide to eat healthy, you shouldn’t be hungry all the time! You can eat as much as you used to- just make sure it’s healthy food.

    1. Find foods you like

    It’s important to find healthy foods that you like, so that you aren’t constantly eating food you don’t want to be eating. This summer, experiment and find some healthy foods and recipes that you can try that will fuel your body! A good place to find healthy meals is Pinterest, which you can follow us on!

        5. Keep everything in moderation 

    If you decide to eat healthy, your life is not over. You can still have everything you want- just be sure to keep it in moderation! Don’t look at foods like desserts as bad for you, because you will feel guilty every time you splurge and have one. Treat yourself to some pizza, brownies, or ice-cream- just don’t make it every meal! If you keep everything in balance, you won’t feel guilty for anything you eat.

  • Articles, Cooking

    Our Favorite Ice Cream in Atlanta by Ashley Mosley

    Summer is hot and it can be tiring to stay outside in the heat. I decided to change up the heat and cool off by finding the best ice cream shops in Atlanta! Here are our top 3 choices you must try!

    My friend and I decided to try Jeni’s Ice Cream shop in Atlanta. They have many different locations which is an added bonus! When you walk into their store, you can smell fresh ice cream which is crazy to think but OH MY! It smells divine!! Their employees were super friendly and their vanilla blueberry cobbler just melted right into my mouth! Here is their website link if you want to check out their cookbook or website! https://shop.jenis.com/pick-your-own-mix/.

    Next up we tried the famous Rita’s Italian Ice shop. Let me just tell you, it was amazing! I love Italian ice and this really hit the spot on a super-hot day! I ordered the mango gelato and my oh my, please do yourself a favor and try it out! It was really refreshing to have on super-hot days and did I mention delicious?!

    The last Ice cream shop was Jake’s Ice cream shop in Atlanta! The shop itself was super cute and rustic looking! What is cool about Jake’s Ice cream is that he doesn’t use preservatives and he has vegan options! Every one told me to try the Root Beer float and I can see why! It was certainly a one of a kind dessert! It was by far the best float I have ever had!

  • Articles, Cooking

    Why Does Popcorn Pop?

    For centuries, people have been fascinated by popcorn. Native Americans believed that a tiny spirit lived inside each popcorn kernel, and when heated, the spirit would get angry and fly away, disgruntled that it had been chased out of its home. Now, we all know that scientifically, this isn’t the case, but why does popcorn pop?

    Inside each and every kernel of popcorn is a droplet of water housed inside a little bit of starch. When we toss that bag of popcorn into the microwave, the water droplets within the kernels expand with the added heat. When the internal temperature of each kernel reaches 212 degrees, the water turns into steam. The pressure builds up and…POP! The hull of the kernel breaks open. The steam within the kernel is released and the starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and spills out, becoming the odd shape that we know to be popcorn!

    Believe it or not, popcorn is a tasty treat that is actually good for you! Popcorn does not contain any additives or preservatives and is a great source of fiber. Popcorn is also great for diabetics because it does not impact blood sugar levels. This tasty treat does not contain any fat or cholesterol, so eat away! Just be wary of the amount of butter that your popcorn is coated with.

    For ways to spice up your popcorn treat check out the following website. From caramel apple to Mexican churro, this website contains over 27 ways to spice up your favorite treat. Healthy Popcorn Recipies

    As always, moderation is key. But, you don’t have to worry too much since this tasty treat is going in the books for its nutritional value!

    Bibliography

    The Food Plate

  • Articles, Cooking

    Reduce Food Waste with These 4 Easy Steps

    According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), over ⅓ off all food produced globally for human consumption gets lost or wasted each year. That comes out to a whopping $680 billions dollars of loss for developed nations and approximately $310 billion dollars of loss for developing countries. If these statistics were surprising, there’s even more. Among the types of food that are more commonly wasted, fruits and vegetables take first place, followed by root crops like tubers. Clearly, all the food that gets wasted or lost every year can most definitely kill starvation. In fact, the FAO states that if the only ¼ of the food wasted could be salvaged, it could feed over 870 million hungry people. Convinced that food waste is a problem? Try reducing the amount of waste that’s dumped in landfills by following these 4 easy steps.

    1. Plan before you shop
    Making a list before you hit the grocery store will help you not only save money but eat healthier. Base your list on a number of meals you’ll actually eat at home. If you’re planning to eat out with your friends or buy food at a restaurant, buy less food for the week.

    2. Store your fruits and vegetables properly.
    Once you come home from the grocery store, find time to wash, chop, slice and store those fruits and veggies for easy access. Make sure that your fruits aren’t near each other. Keeping your fruits in different containers will prevent spoiled food from accelerating the ripening of other nearby fruits and veggies. This is due in part to a gas released by fruits called ethylene, which promotes ripening.

    3. Compost
    Composting is quite easy. It’ll also reduce the amount of food that’s dumped in landfills. Less food waste in landfills equals less methane released into the atmosphere. The perfect compost has an equal mixture of “browns” and “greens” and water. Brown matter consists of material like twigs, dead leaves, and branches. Green matter consists of vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds. To top it off, water allows the compost to develop properly. If you have a mix of both of these colors and a sufficient amount of water, you’ll have the perfect compost ready within two to five weeks.

    4. Donate to your food pantry.
    Starvation isn’t something that’s limited to third world countries. There are hungry people everywhere and your unused food items can benefit these people tremendously. Find your local food pantry and donate your leftover food items so that you can make a difference! Use sites like http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/ to find your nearest food bank so that you can start donating today!

    Bibliography
    Composting At Home
    SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
    Reducing Wasted Food At Home