Happy National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, I called on Lori Zanini, RD, and creator of the free 7 day meal plan who I knew would have the perfect use for this summer fruit. Her recipe for Strawberry Watermelon Granitas is exactly what I want on a hot summer day. A super simple dessert that quenches my thirst, improves my skin, AND satisfies my sweet tooth? That’s definitely something that deserves its own holiday!
Take it away, Lori!
Watermelon is in its peak season during August, which is perfect, because the hot summer weather requires a major boost in hydration. And, with its high water content (about 92%), watermelon is the ultimate summer snack. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and protects against certain cancers as well as decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
So it’s confirmed! Watermelon is a delicious way to promote a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, some initial research indicates foods high in lycopene have a “sunscreen effect,” and may have the ability to improve our skin’s natural SPF. That’s amazing, right?
Here are some more incredible watermelon facts. One cup of watermelon is:
• Less than 50 calories (46 to be exact).
• A good source of vitamin C and potassium.
• Eating watermelon can help reduce puffiness/bloating related to excess salt intake, making it the perfect poolside snack option.
• It’s a GREAT source of Vitamin A (about 40% of daily needs in just one cup)! Vitamin A is important for vision, immune system and fertility.
I believe having access to the healthiest of options should be a right, not a privilege — that’s just one of the many reasons I’m proud to partner with Thrive Market. Living a clean and healthy lifestyle is extremely important to me, and I’m very aware that not everyone has access to organic foods, natural products and eco-friendly supplies.
At Thrive Market, the mission is simple: make healthy living and organic food accessible to everyone — regardless of where they live or how much they make. Thrive Market carries thousands of best-selling, organic, wholesome foods and nontoxic home and body care products for 25-50% below traditional retail prices!
Even better, it’s all delivered straight to your door. You can get everything you need at Thrive Market: food, snacks, vitamins, supplements, personal care products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, safe and nontoxic beauty products, kitchen staples, home goods, organic baby food, kids products and so much more.
I’ll just say it — I am not ever going to be the girl who goes to dinner and orders two stalks of asparagus. I love food! I love going to restaurants, getting take out, snacking at sporting events… you get the idea.
Good news! The secret to being able to double fist your favorite foods is knowing how to order them. Lori Zanini, RD, and creator of the free 7 day meal plan is singing the same tune in these awesome suggestions for what to order when eating out. A few simple swaps can change a not-so-healthy salad (it’s true, not all salads are created clean) into a healthy-yet-still-delish dish.
Whether I’m on the road for work or in my own neighborhood, I love exploring and trying new restaurants. If you know what to look for, choosing healthy menu items is easy no matter what type of restaurant you are trying! You don’t even have to totally overhaul your order.
See Lori’s easy tips for ordering healthier options without sacrificing your taste buds when you’re eating out. She’s even categorized them by restaurant types! Check the out here:
When it comes to eating healthy on-the-go I’ve always believed it’s all about being well stocked with options. The problem I run into — and perhaps you’ve experienced the same — is those options seem so limited. I only have a handful of solid to-go snacks that I go to and as a result, just like most routines, eating the same thing gets boring! As a result, I sometimes stray from my nutrition plans.
Fortunately, there are expert snack-slayers like Lori Zanini, RD, and creator of the free 7 day meal plan, who has a whole arsenal of delicious and clean choices. Here, Lori shares a list of ideas that are sure to keep me happy and healthy on my journey to snack success!
How To Stay Healthy While Snacking On The Go
I frequently get asked how I make healthy food choices when I’m on the road. My strategy: always come prepared by packing some simple on the go snacks! Eating out for most meals, combined with a busy work schedule, can lead to making less than healthy choices while traveling. For me, packing snacks is a must, if I already have them on hand I’m less likely to go rogue. Here are some of my go-to foods when hunger hits on the road!
1. Single Serving Nut Butter Pack + A Piece of Fruit
My favorite on-the-go fruits are apples, pears, and bananas. Buying nut butters in single serving squeeze packs makes it easy to eat the correct portion size without any measuring or mess!
2. Homemade Trail Mix
I think the best combination is almond slivers, cashews, unsweetened dried cranberries or blueberries, dried coconut chips and a dash of cinnamon. Tip: make it in bulk before your trip and measure out your portions — about a ¼ cup for one serving — ahead of time in little jars or snack bags so you can grab and go each day.
3. Simple Avocado Tuna “Salad”
This is a great snack that makes more of a hearty on-the-go meal. Take ½ of a medium avocado and mash it with 3 oz. tuna (or salmon) packaged in water. Add a little bit of salt, pepper and cayenne or chili powder and enjoy! What makes this salad perfect for traveling? All of the ingredients can be kept at room temp until you are ready to whip it up!
While we were dancing our way through Chicago one thing was on the MOVE Team’s mind: Deep. Dish. Pizza. How could we not dream about the ooey-gooey goodness of a delicious Chicago style pizza pie? I’m constantly seeking out ways to satisfy my cravings as well as my conscious. As the tour bus buzzed by the hundredth pizzeria promising the best slice in town -– I began my search for the unicorn of indulgences: a healthy version of deep-dish deliciousness.
I came across the blog belonging to Chicago-native Ashley, a cookbook author, writer, and photographer behind the website Blissful Basil. Lo and behold, she made the seemingly impossible, possible! The crust calls for cauliflower in lieu of flour and lite mozzarella in place of full-fat cheese. I also like how Ashley added spinach for its healthy benefits.
When I get home, I’m going full veggie by adding broccoli, tomatoes and bell peppers.
With the weather heating up, it’s the perfect time to add some light and fresh recipes into your dinner menu rotation. I’ve asked Lori Zanini to share some more of her delicious and healthy creations with us over the next few months, and I’m so glad we’re starting with this fancy but easy-to-execute recipe for Summer Rolls.
As always, please let me know if you try this at home — I love to see your skills in action!
For the peanut sauce:
• ½ cup natural peanut butter
• 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp coconut aminos
• 1 tbsp sriracha
• 1 tsp grated ginger
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• ¼ cup canola oil
• ½ cup water
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined (or blend all ingredients in a food processor). Pour into a small ramekin and set aside.
For the rolls:
• 1 lb wild caught shrimp
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 package rice paper (I love BanhTrang brand, if available)
• 1 medium watermelon radish
• 2 cups shredded carrots
• 2 cups julienne cucumbers
• 2 cups shredded white cabbage
• 2 cups thinly chopped romaine lettuce
• 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• Large bowl of room temperature water
Who doesn’t love cake?? This perfect-for-one dessert recipe has a twist, though — it’s actually good for you. If you’re like me, you’re very intrigued at the idea of adding black beans to something chocolate-y, but I am here to tell you that one weird ingredient doesn’t keep this from being my new go-to evening splurge.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen any of Lori Zanini’s other recipes, but this one totally lives up to her reputation of delivering big taste without sacrificing your health. If you don’t already have her cookbook check it out!
When I was sent this week’s challenge for Meatless Monday, I immediately went on the hunt for great meal ideas. I am pretty obsessed with this vegan taco salad with creamy cilantro lime dressing (oh yeah!) from Nutrition By Kara. Not only is Kara’s recipe meatless — it’s also gluten-free, dairy-free and has no added sugar. Kara’s a nutritionist, so she knows what she’s talking about when she says it’s full of clean, plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K.
Vegan Taco Salad Ingredients:
• 3/4 bag organic arugula
• ½ 15.25oz can organic corn (no sugar added)
• ½ 15oz can organic black beans
• ½ 3.8oz can sliced black olives
• 1 large handful sliced organic mixed tomatoes
• 1 cubed avocado
• 1 almond flour tortilla (you can find these at Whole Foods)
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:
• 1 cup soaked cashews
• 3½ tbsp olive oil
• 1 lime
• 3 tbsp pure water
• ½ tbsp cilantro leaves
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• pinch of black pepper
I love any side dish that can make your main course seem even more exciting. I also love the way Lori Zanini has created such delicious recipes that never make me feel like I’m missing out because I’m eating healthy.
This Mexi-Cauli Rice recipe is beautiful, tasty and good for you — the recipe trifecta! Plus, it’s a snap to make. Let’s get cooking!
Serves 4 (½ cup each)
Prep Time:: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
• 3 cups cauliflower florets
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ cup diced onions
• 2/3 cup sliced tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
• Juice of ½ lime
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
I love everything about the way Lori Zanini approaches health and wellness — especially in the kitchen. Her recipes are so fabulous your whole family will be impressed, and so beautiful you’ll feel like a professional chef.
As a registered dietitian, Lori really knows her stuff. She loves helping people discover that eating healthy food doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste! Seriously my kind of girl.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you guys, and please let me know if you try it.
This recipe originally appeared in Lori’s cookbook, Eat What You Love Diabetes Cookbook
Serves 4 (2 cups salad + 1 shrimp skewer each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes + 10 minutes to marinate
Cook Time: 10 minutes
FOR THE CROUTONS
• 4 slices high-fiber whole-grain bread
• 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
FOR THE SHRIMP
• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SALAD
• ¼ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
• ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 8 cups bite-size pieces romaine lettuce
• 1 large cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese