How often do you stick with the same old meals, ingredients, and snacks? It’s easy to get into a routine, making your same staple meals over and over again to save time and increase efficiency. And during the work week, when you’re running around trying to get what feels like hundreds of things done, those meals are absolute necessities.
But every once in a while – say, on a Sunday, when you have some extra time – make a plan to try something new. Add new ingredients to your cart and peruse the internet for recipes you’ve never tried before. Trying new fruits, veggies, and proteins widens the array of vitamins and nutrients you receive from the food you eat, making for a healthier you.
Trying new greens is one such example. So many families stick to plain lettuce as their green of choice. While lettuce can serve as a great base for any meal, there are so many other greens out there that are filled with a plethora of unique vitamins and minerals to make you feel good. Spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard… the list goes on and on.
Why are these greens simply so good for you? Greens are a great weight loss food, as they’re low in calories and fat, and high in good-for-you fiber. In the vitamin world, greens are rich in vitamin C for a boosted immune system, as well as magnesium and potassium. The vitamin K, iron, and calcium in greens promote bone health. All in all, a win-win!
While you’re in the midst of changing up your greens, change up the way you use greens, too. These veggies are often relegated to the salad plate, but they totally don’t have to be! We’ve compiled a list of our five favorite recipes that are filled with yummy greens but don’t involve a salad. Thrown in soups, sautéed with eggs and other veggies, added to a healthy risotto… the ideas are endless!
Try one of these recipes this weekend and let us know how it goes.
- Green Minestrone with Kale Pistacho Pesto by Vegetarian Ventures
- Kale Risotto with Farro by Naturally Ella
- Spinach Neufchatel Mini Quiches with Almond Crumble Crust by Around My Family Table
- Smokey Chickpeas with Spinach Fried Egg by Culinary Colleen
- Fresh Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta by Cookie and Kate
We’re so close to the unofficial start of summer – we can practically feel the sunlight, smell the barbecue roasting veggies and meats galore, and hear the sizzle of marshmallows over an open fire. Whether you’re already celebrating or are waiting for the actual holiday, the summer feeling in the air is palpable. It must be Memorial Day!
While you’re out celebrating this weekend, we encourage you to make a point – with both yourself and others – to remember the meaning behind the Memorial Day holiday. This federal U.S. holiday was created as a remembrance of all those who sacrificed their lives for the country they held so dear.
The holiday was originally dubbed “Decoration Day” after the American Civil War, when on this day each year the nation would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers to remember their sacrifice. When the holiday officially became “Memorial Day” in 1971, the holiday was inaugurated at Arlington National Cemetery, where people placed American flags on each and every gravestone. We still decorate the graves of the fallen with American flags and flowers to this day—to offer respect and thanks for the sacrifice they made to defend America and its people.
No matter your political affiliation, it’s always important to offer thanks to those who fought to make our lives better. Nearly everyone knows someone who served in the armed forces, whether a family member, friend, coworker, or other acquaintance. Honoring those who served to protect our freedom is therefore an experience we all share in some way, an experience that brings us together as a unified people.
This Memorial Day, take a few moments of silence to remember fallen soldiers past and present. Visit your town’s local cemetery to see the gravesites covered in American flags or attend your local Memorial Day service. Many towns or counties hold celebrations complete with speeches, poems, music, and even parades. If you’re off vacationing, take a few moments on the beach, near the barbecue, or during a toast to remind yourself of the true meaning of the holiday. Remember, and enjoy!
A mindful life is a peaceful life. Living mindfully means something different to everyone, but to many, it’s the act of living in the moment, enjoying the present, and being fully aware of your surroundings during all life’s little sparks. It’s about patience, generosity, honesty, and reverence.
Those who practice mindfulness lead less stressful and anxious lives; enjoying the moment and not rushing through life decreases stress and increases enjoyment. How, exactly, can you start incorporating these practices into your life?
Nourish your mind. Part of being mindful is being consistently aware of your feelings and thoughts, and acting on them accordingly. It can also be a consistent state of learning and improving oneself; reading, journaling, learning a new language, doing a crossword puzzle, and other leisure activities can help you learn while constantly working your brain muscle. Question everything – who knows what you might learn?
Nourish your body. I think we can all agree that eating whole food makes us feel good. There’s a difference between being full from a cheesy, calorie-and-fat-laden pasta dish and getting full off of a great homemade minestrone soup. Those moments where you’re enjoying nutritious, earth-friendly foods encourage you to become more in tune with your body and live in the current moment.
Another part of nourishing your body? Staying comfortable in your own skin, and accepting your body for what it is. Appreciating your body can come in the form of both thoughts and actions. Think about what makes you most comfortable. A pair of pajamas? Slippers? Now what keeps you comfortable during the day? Your favorite pair of jeans?
We know our personal favorite – mary-janes. These strappy shoes keep our feet happy the whole day through, wrapping our toes in pure comfort and glory. The mary-janes from our eco shop take it to a whole new level by incorporating earth-friendly materials that are good for the earth and good for your body.
Slip into a pair of comfortable mary-janes this spring and let your mindfulness soar. Who knows where this new way of living will take you?
There aren’t many people out there who truly enjoy small talk. A necessary part of life, those small, trivial conversations you have at networking events, casual dinners, and other events can fill even the biggest extrovert with dread, particularly when the minute conversation ceases and the air fills with silence.
These situations aren’t going to cease; small talk is a part of life, and every person finds themselves at an event where they don’t know everyone and conversation is difficult. It doesn’t have to be as awkward, however, if you know how to keep the conversation flowing through a bit of practice and preparation.
It’s easy to start any conversation by talking about the weather. It’s something everyone can relate to, something that affects each and every one of us day in and day out. But as we know, those conversations often stall pretty quickly. After all, how long can you really talk about the temperature?
Prior to an event you’ll be attending, do your homework. Think about the audience at the dinner or party. If you’re at a dinner with your significant other’s family that you’ve never met, for instance, thinking up a few topics of conversation (what your significant other was like as a child; what they do for work; family traditions) ensures that awkward silence will never be a problem – and better yet, conversations might turn quite meaningful. Think ahead of time about a few things you wish to share about yourself with the audience you’re interacting with, and find ways throughout the event to work those tidbits of information into the conversation.
If you do start talking about yourself, find easy ways to segue the conversation into questions about the person you’re talking to. People may find you interesting, but there’s only so long you can talk about yourself without another person zoning out. Always find ways to turn the talk back onto your conversation partner for easy, free-flowing chatter.
What are some sample questions you can ask to get others talking? Discussing a mutual interest, or even just a mutual friend, can be a great place to start. If you’re at a party where you only know one person, for instance, ask others how they might know him or her. Asking other guests how they got there always brings up a little background about that person that can easily flow into other topics of conversation
Ask “how” and “why” questions over those that require just a yes or no answer. Yes/no questions easily stifle conversation. For instance, instead of “do you like your job?” ask something like, “how did you get into that line of work? What do you like most and least about your current position?”
Ask for recommendations. Everyone likes sharing their likes and dislikes, and asking for someone’s recommendations on local restaurants, bars, or art museums shows that you trust and respect their opinion, making them feel more open and likely to engage in fruitful, meaningful conversation.
Introduce them to another acquaintance. Conversation always flows more freely when there are more people involved. If you know someone else at an event, act as a facilitator and bring unknowing parties together. The more people you can connect, the more topics of conversation open up.
All that said, always remember that a little awkward silence really never hurt anyone. Force yourself start getting comfortable with a little silence. It will reduce your anxiety and may even allow conversation to flow more freely while helping you enjoy the talk you do have.
How do you help conversation flow freely at any event? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Each season, a brand new set of trends pop up that make us swoon. Whether it’s boho chic embellishments, espadrilles, cork wedges or bright pops of color, we’re always excited about what the new season is bound to bring.
This spring, we’re super obsessed with a beautiful trend: laser-cut details. These perforations in gorgeous leather wedges, sandals, booties, flats, and even casual sneakers truly make even the most everyday pair of shoes totally pop.
These laser-cut perforations also keep your feet comfortable as the weather gets warmer. Offering a bit of breathing room, having small detailing on the shoe gives your feet the fresh air they deserve – perfect for springtime temperatures filled with sunlight and heat.
Seen above: Josef Seibel Caspian Sneakers
Slip on a pair of laser-cut casual sneakers for a weekend afternoon running around town doing necessary errands. You’ll look your absolute best in these gorgeous sneakers while staying as comfortable and happy as your favorite sneakers always leave you.
Seen above: Neosens Rococo S 860 booties
For a typical Monday at work, grab your favorite pair of laser-cut booties to dress up absolutely any outfit. Pair them with a neutral dress for a professional look, or a pair of jeans cuffed at the ankle for those more casual office environments.
Seen above: Fly London Yile Perf
When Friday comes around, dress to impress in beautiful laser-cut wedges. The intricate details truly make these wedges stand out while you stand tall and proud on your date night or evening out with friends. These shoes are practically guaranteed to amaze and astound.
No matter the occasion, laser-cut details can take you there in style. How will you wear them?
Here it comes – Memorial Day is almost here, marking the beginning of the summer season for many. Complete with backyard grilling, beachside soirees, and poolside parties, Memorial Day weekend is one of the most enjoyable ways to kick off summer surrounded by loved ones, friends, and family.
At the same time, Memorial Day doesn’t get the best reputation for being a particularly healthy holiday. Like many times of celebration, this weekend can get unhealthy quite fast, throwing off your goals with heavy barbecue sauces, lots of beer, and piles and piles of cupcakes with red and white frosting galore. Of course, we’re all for celebrating the season and the holidays – and truly believe you should indulge when you most want to. After all, you deserve it! But as usual, celebrating the holiday is all about balance.
If you still aren’t sure what you’re doing for the Memorial Day weekend, or just want to try and incorporate some healthy aspects into the holiday, read on for some healthy activities that let you enjoy summer while still staying true to your health and fitness goals.
- Swap burgers and dogs for veggies. Grilled vegetables are absolutely delicious. Throw some salt, pepper, and olive oil on some zucchini or corn for an absolutely delectable set of grilled heaven. Marinate some tofu and stick it on the grill, create kebabs out of veggies and tofu, or throw a beautiful piece of fish onto the barbecue for healthier grilling options.
- Choose lively outdoor activities. Instead of lounging on a beach chair all weekend, go active. Look up a local set of trails to go on a beautiful springtime hike. Try ziplining through your local forest or kayaking on a local river. The great outdoors is calling – get your adventure on and go!
- Sign up for a race. Memorial Day is prime time for races. Whether you’d rather train for a 5K or a half marathon, it’s easy to find the right race for you on this holiday weekend. Oftentimes these races also benefit a charity – a two-for-one, good-for-you deal.
- Visit a local farm or orchard. This time of year is when the best produce starts popping up in full force. Head to a local berry orchard to pick raspberries and blueberries – then turn it into a berry-filled festive Memorial Day pie. Head out to a local farm to grab some fresh asparagus, picked straight from the fields. The fresher the produce, the better for you – as well as the environment and your local economy.
- Have a healthy beach day. To many, Memorial Day is defined by the beach. If you’re looking to go the healthy route, ditch the beach day beers and burgers and swap them out for crisp veggies, lemonade, and cucumber water. Try your hand at some beach volleyball or soccer to get the heart pumping and the muscles moving.
How do you have a healthy Memorial Day? How do you stick to your goals during the holidays? We’d love to hear your ideas!