Fajita Tofu Kebabs with Cilantro Lime Quinoa

fajita-tofu-kebabsThere’s nothing better than the smell of barbecue wafting through your window in the summer heat. It’s certainly enough to get you running outside to enjoy the weather and spend time with those closest to you. It’s a smell that always reminds us of summer; a wonderful foray into picnicking with delicious, smoky food and yummy in-season staples.

If you’re trying to cut down your meat intake, however, barbecues are a tough place to be. It’s definitely something we’re trying to break; there are so many things you can cook on the grill that are veggie-based, even if it’s just roasting delicious red peppers over high heat. That smoky flavor is inescapable!

Thanks to Sarah from Making Thyme for Health, we found an amazing recipe that’s packed with veggies, protein, nutrients and minerals to keep you feeling great all summer long! These Fajita Tofu Kebabs are absolutely delicious, and super fun both to cook and eat. Head onto the kebab train this summer. You certainly won’t regret it!

Ingredients

Kebabs
15 ounces super firm tofu, pressed and diced into 1-inch squares
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
1 tablespoon high heat oil
2 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 wooden skewers

Cilantro Lime Quinoa
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
1 teaspoon olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
serving suggestions: chips and salsa, guac

 For full recipe instructions, check out Making Thyme for Health!

About Making Thyme for Health
Sarah is a vegetarian food blogger who creates simple and seasonal recipes. She loves cooking with whole foods that give her the energy to keep up with a busy life (perfect for all of you!). Read more about Sarah and try some of her other recipes here.

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Jump, Skim, and Swim in Trusty Beach Sneaks

beach-sneaksJambu Raven | Chaco Outcross Evo 2 | Vivobarefoot Ultra 2

What’s your water sport of choice? From kayaking to canoeing to a light beach run, there’s no stopping the range of activity once you hit those sandy shores. What better to get you there than a great pair of breathable, lightweight, comfortable beach sneaks?

What activities do we recommend? Feeling adventurous? Try a new water sport, like stand-up paddle-boarding, wind-surfing, or parasailing. Or better yet, get down to your roots, and act like a kid again! Build a sandcastle, body-surf the waves, collect shells, and play bocce or other beach games. The world of outdoor fun is endless, particularly with a lot of sun and plenty of sand beneath feet wrapped in comfort.

In bright shades and beautiful designs, these shoes aren’t just for beach walking… they can take you from the beach to the streets in ultimate style. Spend a day in the sand and head straight out to dinner in your favorite breathable shoes.

Having trouble sorting through the selection? Here are some of our faves!

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The Power of Greek Yogurt

greek-yogurt-recipesSo you have a whole container of Greek yogurt in your fridge. The tangy, protein-packed jug is there for when you need a quick breakfast (just add granola!), a mid-afternoon snack, or a post-workout pick-me-up.

With its versatility, health, and deliciousness, Greek yogurt is one of our staples for a feel-good week. The high levels of protein help you build muscle, calcium keeps your bones strong, and the probiotics keep your stomach feeling its best. The plain versions also have very little sugar, keeping your blood sugar levels in check all day long.

If you’re still using this dairy concoction in its simplest form – as plain and normal yogurt – we have some news for you: there are so many ways to use this ingredient in each and every meal, sometimes without even noticing it! We’ve compiled a list of six recipes that use Greek yogurt in unexpected ways. Adding some protein to pancakes? Sure! Making your soups just that much creamier? Yes, please!

Try one of these out this week, and let us know how it goes.

1) Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles
2) Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup
3) Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce
4) Swiss Chard Cakes
5) Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins
6) Quinoa Herb Parfait

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The Best 5 Workouts for Your Vacation

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.54.31 PMAre you going on any vacations in the coming months? It seems as though, at least up here in New England, every one of our summer weekends is packed with plans to head out to the beach, mountains, or friends’ and family’s homes to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the warm summer air, and make the best of the summer season. Even workplaces seem to slow down a tad during the summer; many people use this beautiful weather as a time to relax and take time off from responsibilities.

Whatever your ideal vacation, many end up consisting of indulgences (good food and drinks, anyone?), laughter, and happiness. Taking a break from your normal life means doing what you enjoy most, and making the most of your time off.

One thing you shouldn’t take a break from, however? Your exercise routine. While we’re all for giving your body a rest, fitting in a short, heart-pumping session or two during your time off will keep you in a rhythm and make you feel even more alive and relaxed long after your vacation is over.

We also know that vacation time is precious; no time for long workouts here. To help you out, we’ve compiled the five workouts below for you to pick and choose from during your time away. Each one is only 30 minutes long (cut it down to 20 if you wish), and needs hardly any equipment (pack a jump rope in your bag… it won’t take up much space!). They can also be done anywhere… perfect for beside the waves or in your hotel room.

Arm-Toner

  1. Warm up jog: One mile (time varies)
  2. Push-ups: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Repeat 5 times.
  3. Pick a pump-up song: Raise your hands over your head and hold them up high. During the chorus of your song, bend your arms at your elbows so your hands are next to the top of your head, and your arms are in line with your ears. Bring them back up to the original position rapidly, then bring them back down, and repeat until the chorus is over. Then raise and hold until the next chorus.
  4. Chair tricep dips: Find the closest chair or bench, face away from it, and bend your legs at the knees, placing your hands behind you on the chair. Lift your body up, then back down. That’s one rep. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times through.
  5. Cool down: 2-minute light jog

Quick Cardio

  1. Interval sprints: 30 seconds on, 45 seconds off. Repeat for 15 minutes (going through the circuit 12 times).
  2. 2-minute water break
  3. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times through.
  4. Finish strong: One last 1-minute sprint!
  5. Cool down: 2-minute light jog

Butt & Legs

  1. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Squats: With legs spread shoulder-width apart, squat down until your knees are slightly over your feet. Come back up – that’s one rep. Repeat 15 times, take a one-minute break, and repeat twice.
  3. Lunge & hop: Lunge, right leg first. Coming back into standing position, hop up when you reach a full stand, then come back down into a lunge. Repeat 15 times, take a one-minute break, and repeat twice.
  4. Squat & leg lift: With legs spread shoulder-width apart, squat down until your knees are slightly over your feet. Before you come back up, kick your right leg out to the side. Repeat, kicking your left leg this time. Do 15 kicks per leg, rest for 1 minute, and repeat once.
  5. Cool-down: 3-minute light jog

All-Body 1

  1. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Squat variations: Perform 15 squats, take a one minute break. Squat down into the squat position, hold and pulse for 30 seconds; take a one minute break. Squat down into the squat position and hold for 30 seconds, take a one minute break. Repeat the sequence three times through.
  3. Abs and arms: Go into plank position, hold for one minute. Transition immediately to a side plank, hold for one minute. Repeat on the opposite side. Take a one minute break – repeat once more.
  4. Cool down: 2 minute light jog.

All-Body 2

  1. Warm up jog: One mile run
  2. Side planks: 1 minute on each side.
  3. Side lunge & push: Lunge to one side, pushing yourself back upwards and into a jump. Alternate between sides for one minute, then take one minute of rest. Repeat three times.
  4. Push ups: Perform as many as you can in 30 seconds, then take 30 seconds rest. Repeat for 3 minutes.
  5. Jump-rope: 2 minutes rapid jump rope.
  6. Crunch & push: Perform 60 seconds of crunches. Turn over, and do as many push-ups as you can for 15 seconds. Repeat three times, with one minute of rest in between.
  7. Cool down: 2 minute light jog.

Which routines did you choose? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!

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Easy Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Schedule

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 9.51.31 PMWe know you’re busy. And we also know you’re dedicated. To your job, your kids, your friends, and all the other commitments you make on a daily basis. Living life to the fullest tends to pack your schedule quite quickly!

There’s one thing that should never be neglected due to a busy lifestyle, though… exercise. It’s easy to get caught in this conundrum; working out keeps your body and mind alive and full of energy, making you livelier during the day and helping you perform better at work, yet this type of performance can often lead to longer hours, and less time to work out. What’s a busy bee to do?

Choose shorter, more intense workouts
407Don’t discount a workout just because it seems short, and therefore not worth it. The shortest workouts can be the best! Try a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT), a type of workout constructed from a rapid sequence of strengthening moves with short breaks in between. With this type of workout, you quickly escalate your heart rate (fitting in cardio) while toning your muscles. These 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health. 

Schedule time into your calendar
Appointments, meetings, vacations, and dates with friends all go into your calendar… why not your workouts? Schedule the time, set a reminder, and treat the time you have to exercise as if it is just as much of a commitment, and is just as important, as the other appointments on your calendar (because it should be!).

Do what you love, love what you do
It can be easy to stave off a workout if you don’t enjoy it while you’re doing it. If running isn’t your thing, find something that makes you feel great, and you’ll be much more likely to come back to it. If thinking about running is painful to you, try a HIIT routine, yoga, or kayaking instead. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to working out, so don’t assume you need to fit the mold! 

Keep track of your goals
If your goal is to work out 4 times a week, or to get to a certain running mileage, keep track of your progress. As you see the numbers go up, you’ll be super motivated to continue towards achieving your goals. There are a variety of fitness apps out there that do it for you, but if that isn’t your thing, keep a workout journal or write yourself a note on your phone’s notepad. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing another workout off your list!

Find a motivated partner
Friends are incredibly motivating when it comes to working out. You wouldn’t ditch a friend for dinner, or for Saturday shopping plans. Having someone by your side to commit you to your workouts and push you to become stronger can be the ultimate motivator.

We hope these tactics help you on your journey to fitting exercise into your busy schedule! How do you get into a workout routine, despite a packed calendar?

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5 Best Tips for Healthy Summer Skin

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 8.06.46 PMThere’s one major, important organ that can take a serious hit during the summer… your skin. High levels of sunshine, hot temperatures, and weekends filled with sandy beaching, while wonderful, can take a serious toll on your skin. With sweat, salt and sand attaching to your skin quite often, it’s super important to take extra special care of one of the most important aspects of your body’s health.

First, don’t give up the moisturizer
Yes, your skin may feel sweaty and greasy, but once you wash your face, applying moisturizer is still key. Without moisturizer, skin tends to overcompensate for dehydration by producing more oil, making your skin greasy all over again. For a freshly-washed feel for hours on end, grab a great moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and happy.

Keep cool
You may be used to washing your face with hot water to open your pores, but with already warm temperatures afoot, it’s important to keep your face as cool as possible. Wash your face with cool water in the summer, and try for cooler showers. Hot water tends to dry out skin, which may be already dehydrated due to the heat of the summer sun.

Go for the calm
Calming lotions are vital during the summer; look for chamomile or cucumber to reduce swelling from humidity and sunburn. Better yet, keep your lotions in the fridge; it tends to help them last longer, while cooling your face that much more.

Enjoy lots of melon
Cantaloupe and watermelon are filled with water and antioxidants to keep your skin happy, healthy, hydrated and fresh. Better yet, these fruits are in-season in the summer, so gobble up without the guilt!

Wear sunscreen with 30-45 SPF
Not that you haven’t heard this a million times, but you can never reiterate enough the importance of sunscreen in the summer… both at the beach and on the streets. It’s easy to forget those small spots, like your lips, ears, and feet, so take extra care to get those tricky areas. The sun stops for no one!

How do you take care of your skin in the winter? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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