Browsing Category:

Food

  • Articles, Food, GirlSpring.com, Healthy Eating, Lifestyle, Local

    A Gluten Free Guide To Birmingham

    Gluten Free Pancakes

    I have been gluten-free for a little over four years. A first, I struggled to find much to eat at restaurants beside the classic GF meal, a hamburger with no bun. I turned sixteen two years ago and decided that now that I could drive I was going to start finding new restaurants that offered a better variety of GF options. Now, I have found many restaurants that offer GF options without giving up delicious flavor. I wanted to share a list of my favorite GF foods you can find in Birmingham, AL! 

    Breakfast Options:

    • Another Broken Egg has the best GF chocolate chip pancakes. They are so good that sometimes my sister will order them over the regular pancakes.
    • Magic Muffins offers a GF muffin. It is a nut/raisin muffin; though I wish they had a few different options of flavors, it is still a really yummy option.

    Lunch / Dinner Options:

    • Delta Blues is a 100% gluten-free restaurant, and let me tell you, it is my all-time favorite restaurant in Birmingham. They are known for their hot tamales (I recommend the Mississippi Mud tamale), but they also have chicken fingers, wings, and more fried foods that people on a GF diet can’t ever have. I highly urge everyone to try Delta Blues, gluten-free or not.
    • Slice Pizza and California Pizza Kitchen both offer a GF pizza that is quite delicious and worth the splurge.
    • P.F. Changs has an entire GF menu (you just have to request it once you sit down) that offers a lot of the meals on the regular menu with just a few modifications. 

    Snack / Dessert Options:

    • Church Street Coffee’s GF lemon poppy seed bread is unbelievably good. The first time I had a piece of it, it was so good that I questioned to make sure it was actually gluten-free!
    • Red Cat Coffee has a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin and lots of other yummy GF baked treats that are all very yummy.
    • Cookie Fix’s #1 selling cookie, The Healthy PB Cookie, happens to be GF! There is a reason it is their best seller!

    I hope that if you are already GF or looking into what it is like to be GF, this list helped you realize how many options for a GF diet there are in Birmingham! It has been so fun to try new GF goodies and not have to always order the same thing whenever I eat out.

    Looking for more healthy eating options? Go to www.girlspring.com!

  • Articles, Cooking, Food, GirlSpring.com, Health

    More Smoothies to Keep Your Summer Cool

    smoothie

    Summer is approaching fast, and so is the excruciatingly high temperatures that come with it. In order to beat the heat this season, hydration is a must– and what better way to accomplish that than with fruity, satisfying smoothies? 

    Below are a few simple, refreshing recipes to help you cool down this summer, sipping by the poolside. All you need to do is gather the ingredients, blend together and enjoy! 

    Pineapple Mango Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • ½ cup of pineapple juice
    • ½ cup of canned coconut milk
    • 1 cup of frozen mango
    • ¾ cup of frozen pineapple
    • ½ of a frozen banana

    You can modify this recipe by using a different substitute for milk or adding spinach or kale for a healthy twist. 

    Find the full recipe at https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pineapple-smoothie/.

    Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup of ice
    • 1 cup of lemonade

    Simple, sweet and sour! This strawberry lemonade smoothie would be perfect at a picnic or pool party. Add a flavor to your lemonade, such as strawberry or raspberry, for some extra flavor.

    Find the full recipe at https://recipeforperfection.com/strawberry-lemonade-smoothie-recipe/.

    Watermelon Peach Smoothie 

    Ingredients: 

    • 3 cups of chopped watermelon
    • 1 ripe peach, sliced
    • ½ cup of plain coconut milk (refrigerated, not canned)
    •  A handful of ice
    • Mint for garnish (if desired) 
    • 1-2 tablespoons of honey to sweeten (if desired)

    Since watermelon is mostly water, this smoothie won’t only satisfy your cravings, but it will quench your thirst. 

    Find the full recipe at https://www.seasonalcravings.com/watermelon-peach-smoothie/.

    Peanut Butter Espresso Smoothie

    Ingredients: 

    • 1 frozen banana
    • ¼ cup of peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon of espresso or instant coffee powder 
    • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

    Ditch your boring cup of iced coffee this summer with this energizing, refreshing smoothie. Coffee is a must-have in my everyday routine, so I’m always looking for new, delicious ways to consume it, like this recipe. 

    Find the full recipe at https://thealmondeater.com/peanut-butter-espresso-smoothie/.

    Smoothies are easy to make, taste amazing and will cool you down in the upcoming hot weather– what more could you possibly be looking for? These recipes, plus some other GirlSpring smoothies, will quickly become one of your summer staples.

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

    The Smoothies You’ll Need to Cool Down this Summer

    smoothies

    Smoothies are such a fast, easy, and healthy way to beat the summer heat. Here are five of my favorite recipes:

    1. Orange cream smoothie
    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 orange peeled
    • Honey, to taste
    • 1 cup almond milk, soy, or coconut
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt (for extra flavor!)

        2. Peanut Butter Banana

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened or vanilla)
    • 1 ½ tablespoons of natural peanut butter
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Honey, to taste
    • ½ cup plain greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt

    3. Strawberry banana smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • ½ cup frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup almond, soy, or coconut milk
    • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
    • Honey, to taste

    4. Mixed Berry Smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • ½ cup frozen strawberries
    • ½ frozen banana
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • 1 cup almond, coconut, or soy milk
    • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
    • Honey, to taste

    5. Pina Colada Smoothie

    smoothies

    Blend together these ingredients:

    • 2 frozen bananas
    • 1 cup pineapple chunks 
    • 1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
    • Honey, to taste
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

    Here are some other healthy snacks that are great for the summer!

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

    My Experience as a Lifelong Vegetarian

    Whenever people find out that I’m a vegetarian, I usually receive a series of similar questions and comments. These remarks can range from “Isn’t it so hard to survive? By the way, you’re totally missing out on bacon!” to “Wait, so you still eat fish, right? Gotta get that protein somehow!”

    I’ve been vegetarian forever

    I always love talking about my experience as a vegetarian because I have been one my entire life. A vegetarian, by definition, is someone who abstains from the consumption of meat. There are multiple forms of vegetarianism, and I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (the most common type). This means that while I do not eat any type of meat, I do consume dairy and egg products. I, however, personally try to limit my consumption of eggs just to baked goods/other items that include them as an ingredient. I have found it easy to be vegetarian because I grew up as one, and I plan to practice vegetarianism for the rest of my life.

    My parents are from India, a country where a good portion of the population is vegetarian. My parents and extended family are vegetarian because of ideological reasons. So, it is only natural for me to be a vegetarian, too. Although I was born and brought up in the United States, I have grown up with South-Indian vegetarian delicacies prepared by my mother, such as bisibelebath, a lentil-based rice dish, and masala dosa, a rice pancake filled with a spiced vegetable filling. Being a vegetarian is easy since home-cooked meals are meat-free, and my family and I go out to restaurants with vegetarian options (other than salad). I feel that as a vegetarian, I’ve also been able to make healthy food choices very easily, and that makes me happy.

    Thinking about becoming vegetarian? Here is where to start!

    What comes with being vegetarian

    Being a vegetarian my whole life, I cannot imagine NOT being one. I didn’t really have much of a say in the decision to be one but I am glad that my parents brought me up this way. Over the years, I have learned about the several benefits of vegetarianism, ranging from health benefits to animal rights and protection. As a vegetarian, I always think about an animal’s feelings and the pain that was potentially imposed on it when I see meat. It’s my automatic mindset. It has to do with how I was raised and videos I’ve watched about animal cruelty in the meat industry. I don’t want to hurt animals, and I will have this in the back of my mind. If I am ever encouraged to try meat in the future, I will remain a vegetarian.

    Although vegetarianism can come with health benefits, vegetarians must always be particularly aware of their nutrient intake. I’ve always made sure to get an adequate amount of certain nutrients—especially vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc, and protein— which are often more easily found in animal meat/products. I take vitamins each day to ensure that I am getting sufficient vitamin intake, and my parents have always made sure to prepare meals that have a good amount of protein and are healthy.

    Being vegetarian on my own

    Going from my senior year of high school to my freshman year of college will be a huge transition because I will be on my own and will have to take greater responsibility for my health and well-being. I know I will have to be more watchful of what I eat and always make sure I am eating balanced meals that have enough of all the necessary nutrients. Additionally, I won’t be able to regularly eat my mom’s home-cooked vegetarian meals, so I will have to try new vegetarian foods and/or learn how to do some basic cooking on my own in the years to come.

    I have friends who have become vegan in college (although this probably is not going to be me — I love dairy products too much!) and others who have massively expanded on their cooking skills, making all sorts of vegetarian recipes. I am excited to see where my vegetarianism takes me in the next few years!

    Thinking about becoming vegetarian or even vegan? Look at our interview with two vegan athletes and get some more perspective!

  • 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