Let Summer Inspire a Healthy Diet

Ahh... summer is almost here. This is the best time of year to create healthy eating goals, because it actually becomes easy to deliver on them. Why? The season inspires it. It provides us with opportunities to grill outside. It delivers an abundance of fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Farm stands and Farmer's Markets pop up everywhere. It's a perfect time to skip the processed foods and load up on the much healthier, whole foods.

I'm inspired. This summer, I planted rosemary and basil. I plan to use them when cooking, in an effort to use a little less salt, which I must admit I love to pile on just about anything. The kids planted tomatoes and strawberries. (I'm hoping by the end of the summer my son will get over his tomato phobia and try one). I also decided to vary my diet a bit more, and give some vegetables that I don't often eat another try.

My friend told me she makes kale chips and her kids love them. This sounded too good to be true, but I decided to give it a whirl. I figured at the very least I would probably love them. The result? My kids loved making them. When it came to snacking, though, they went for the mega processed and entirely disgusting Cheez-Its. Frustrating, yet expected.

Now just because my children turned up their noses, it doesn't mean yours will, and these chips are actually very tasty, so if all else fails you will have a healthy snack for yourself:

Kale Chips
  1. Wash kale leaves
  2. Prepare olive oil in a small bowl. Season with sea salt
  3. Brush leaves on both sides
  4. Cook in oven at 425F for 6 minutes. Turn over and cook for 2 more minutes (the key is to make them crispy)
My decision to try beets was based on a conversation with another friend, who grows them in her garden. She told me she loves them. This surprised me, because I really think I hate beets. It's been a long time since I tried them, but I truly remember thinking they were disgusting. My friend insisted I hated them because I'd eaten the canned variety. Knowing that beets are packed with anti-oxidants, I decided to try them again. I'm going to use this recipe, one of Emeril's. Today I cooked the beets. Maybe tomorrow I'll fix the salad. My husband is skeptical. So am I, but change, experimentation, and novelty is always good. It makes life rich and interesting. How will summer inspire you this year?

Photo by missyredboots

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