How To Have a Healthy but Savory Cookout

Nothing says “end of summer” like a good, old-fashioned cookout. While you, like the rest of world, may enjoy the ambiance of burgers cooking on the grill and ‘mellows roasting over an open flame, there is no denying that the foods and sweets associated with a summer bar-b-que can weigh heavily on your heart and your waistline. While you may struggle to reconcile the terms “healthy” and “cookout” — and to get partygoers excited about a wholesome menu — rest assured in the knowledge that it is possible to have a fun, savory and nourishing get-together by following a few simple tips.

Keep It Lean

Chances are that few people on your invite list follow the same diet as you, so it’s the courteous thing to do to present options from the various meat families. However, just because you so kindly serve beef or pork along with your chicken and turkey doesn’t mean that your guests can’t dine healthy, too.

Choose lean cuts of meat with ratings of 90% or more. If you plan to grill chicken drumsticks or turkey legs, opt for skinless. If you’re confident in your prep and cooking skills, try turkey burgers with flavorful ingredients mixed in. Think shallots, cilantro and chili sauce, or oregano, pepper and feta cheese. While bean-based, tofu or tempeh burgers are probably your healthiest option, you should serve these vegan alternatives along with the real deals.

Keep the Salads Simple

Yes, it’s true, everyone loves a creamy potato salad and a savory macaroni salad, but neither of these dishes are very healthy. Switch up the salad game a bit by serving leafy greens topped with fresh, homegrown ingredients. You cannot go wrong with a bed of butter lettuce topped with thinly sliced tomatoes, feta cheese and a sprinkling of olive oil. Nor can guests argue with a spinach, strawberry and balsamic vinaigrette salad. Avocado is always a hit, so find ways to incorporate it into the side and main dishes.

Serve Roast Veggies

Veggies such as corn on the cob, red peppers, summer squash and cherry tomatoes become delicacies when marinated and roasted in just the right ways. The simplest way to roast veggies is to coat them in olive oil, season them with herbs and roast them on a grill pan or in tin foil. However, more sophisticated (but still easy) recipes can surprise your guests in the best possible way. For instance, grilled Portobello mushrooms marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs and garlic and served along with slices of onion, tomato and lettuce can serve as a savory substitute for grease-laden burgers.

Grill Up Dessert

Instead of roasting marshmallows over the campfire, try serving up a different type of dessert on a stick: Grilled fruit kabobs. Not only will grilling fruit create a fun and unique experience for your guests but also, it can bring out each piece’s unique flavor profile. While you can’t go wrong grilling just about any fruit, some that scream “summer” more than others include watermelon, pineapples, strawberries, kiwi and peaches. You can serve up slices on a stick or mix them together with a balsamic glaze and fresh mint or, if you’re feeling particularly playful, melted dark chocolate.

When You’re the Guest

You can’t know, for sure, what is going to be at another person’s cookout — and it would be rude of you to submit special requests for food — but that doesn’t mean you should forgo the end-of-summer fun for health reasons. If you’re worried a cookout will only have burgers, hotdogs and pasta salads to eat, eat before you go. Doing so will prevent you from caving in to your cravings when your stomach starts to grumble.

Another option is to bring a healthy dish or two to pass. Not only will this option ensure you have something healthy to snack on while you’re at the party but also, your host will appreciate the kind gesture.

A healthy cookout does not have to be a boring cookout. Use the tips above to throw an end-of-summer bash that will impress your guests and have them leaving feeling light, energized and all-around good.   

5 Surprising Ways You Can Use Ginger in Your Health and Beauty Routines

I just recently learned that ginger is one of the best-kept secrets for your skin and immune system. It’s very effective at minimizing inflammation (which we all know is one of the most common causes of skin blemishes, joint pain, and premature aging). And the best part is that it won’t cost you a fortune as some top-of-the-line beauty products will.

It’s one thing to know that ginger is a great health and beauty ingredient, but it’s another thing to know how to use it. So I’ve put together this guide of five surprising ways you can start incorporating ginger into your health and beauty routines, starting today.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Skin Cream

To get the skin-healing benefits ginger has to offer, try creating your own anti-inflammatory skin cream. To make it, peel two, 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, then place them in a pot with 2 teaspoons of apricot kernel oil and 2 teaspoons of light sesame oil. Add ½ cup of cocoa butter and 2 teaspoons of vitamin E. Warm on low heat just until the cocoa butter softens and all the ingredients blend together.

Pour the mixture into a lid-sealed container, then put it in a cool, dry place where you can use it often! I recommend applying it after you wash your face. The ingredients are very moisturizing and soothing.

2. Ginger Massage Oil

We all know how quickly excessive stress can cause us to look and feel much older than we really are. But a good massage has a way of melting all our troubles away as it restores our vitality and sense of well-being. To enjoy the relaxing benefits of massage as well as the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger, recruit someone you love to massage your back, neck, or feet with diluted ginger oil. Your skin and mood will feel so much better!

3. Mint and Ginger Mouthwash

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to gum disease and other oral issues. While regular mouthwash can help rid our oral cavities of unwanted bacteria, it can also leave our mouths feeling dry. That’s why I prefer making my own mint and ginger mouthwash. Both mint and ginger are known for their antibacterial properties, which make them a great duo for oral health.

Here’s how to make my surprisingly refreshing and effective mint and ginger mouthwash recipe. Start by pouring about 1 ½ cups of filtered water into a pot, then adding approximately 10 fresh peppermint leaves and one sliced 3-inch ginger root to the water. Bring the mixture to a light boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add about 35 drops of peppermint essential oil to the mixture, then cover the pot and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a sealed jar. You can store this mixture at room temperature for about a month, or put it in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.  

4. Natural Pain-Reliever

Would it surprise you to hear that ginger is a natural pain-reliever? Some research shows that it’s very effective at relieving migraines. So the next time you feel a headache coming on, sip ginger tea or try munching on some candied ginger.

5. Ginger Detox Bath

Ginger is known to help the body fight off bacterial infections. So if you feel like your immune system is fighting something off, grate about ½ cup of fresh ginger and sprinkle it in your hot bathwater. Soak for at least 15 minutes to get the full effects of this detox remedy.

So, what do you think about these unusual uses for ginger? I’d love for you to give them a try and see if they work for you!

Do Legumes Help With Weight Loss?

Legumes (pronounced “leh-gyoomz”) are the seeds or fruits of a certain type of plant family called Fabaceae. The legume family includes lentils, peas, peanuts and beans. Legumes have a very rich nutritional profile and they are full of protein and healthy fibers. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body and can help you maintain a healthy weight.

I’ve always liked the way legumes taste and the way they keep me satiated for long periods. But I had no idea they could help me lose weight until recently. But like many good things in life, there is some controversy surrounding legumes. I’ll go over that information and why I think it isn’t a big deal, and I’ll also show you the astonishing information I learned about using legumes as a weight-loss tool.  

Why Do Legumes Have a Bad Reputation?

There are a couple of things people don’t like about legumes. First, they contain phytic acid (we’ll talk about why that matters in a minute. Second, they tend to cause intestinal distress in people who aren’t used to eating them.

Though legumes have an exceptional nutritional profile, that profile is somewhat negated by certain antinutrients. Legumes contain phytic acid, which can inhibit optimal absorption of certain minerals (such as calcium, zinc and iron). But phytic acid is not unique to legumes. In fact, it’s found in all edible plant seeds.

Generally, the only people who need to worry about the phytic acid content in legumes are those who eat little o no meat. This is because people who eat meat get sufficient minerals to offset the potential negative impacts of phytic acid from legume consumption.

Additionally, you can reduce the phytic acid content of the legumes you consume by sprouting them, soaking them or fermenting them. Incidentally, these preparation methods can also help you avoid the intestinal discomfort associated with legume consumption.

How Can Legumes Help With Weight Loss?

Now that we’ve gotten the controversial aspect of legume consumption out of the way, let’s dive right into what we really want to know: how do legumes assist with weight loss? It turns out they help in multiple ways, including:

  • Helping you feel full longer
  • Curbing cravings
  • Lowering blood sugar

As I mentioned earlier, legumes are full of protein and fiber. Both are great for helping you feel full longer so you don’t spend so much time snacking. They also help curb cravings so you have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.

Finally, legumes can help you avoid spikes in blood sugar. Since legumes are low on the glycemic index, they do not raise blood sugars rapidly as white flour and breads do. Low-glycemic foods are associated with improved weight loss.  

How To Enjoy Legumes

Now that you know how important legumes can be on your weight-loss journey, it’s time to talk about how to enjoy them. Just remember that before using any of these methods, soak your legumes to lower their phytic acid content.

  • Add legumes to soups, casseroles and stews
  • Add cooked beans to your burgers and/or meatballs
  • Puree beans and seeds to use as vegetable dips
  • Sprinkle a few black beans, lentils or chickpeas onto a fresh green salad

These are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy legumes in my daily diet. Give them each a try to see which option you prefer. You can also sprout your legumes to enjoy maximum nutritional benefits. It’s pretty easy to find sprouting guidelines online for different types of legumes. Remember to also exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and consume other healthy foods to get the greatest weight-loss benefits from your legume consumption.

Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Body

Walking through the cooking oil aisle of the supermarket can feel like visiting an exotic marketplace. There are so many to choose from: peanut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and many others. What are the best and worst cooking oils?

The Best (and My Favorites)

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is at the top of every nutritionist’s and doctor’s shopping list. EVOO is packed with healthy fats and antioxidants that protect your heart. It’s rich in a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which reduces inflammation and lowers your risk of chronic diseases.

I love using olive for Italian and Mediterranean dishes because of its deep flavor. EVOO is also delicious as is. Use it to make homemade salad dressing or sprinkle some on top of pizza (with fresh basil) for an aromatic, nutritious treat.

2. Avocado Oil

Another nutrient superstar, avocado oil gives you a ton of vitamin E and a range of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. It’s like putting an avocado slice on your toast in the morning. Once you’ve tasted it, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Avocado oil has a creamy texture that’s irresistible.

It’s excellent for stir-frying, sautéing and searing because it can stand up to high temperatures without problems. The only downside? It can be expensive.

3. Canola Oil

Canola oil is low in saturated fats, which is good for your body. On the other hand, it doesn’t have many nutrients, so it’s not as healthy as EVOO or avocado oil.

The mild flavor of canola oil complements any cuisine, from meat and potatoes to curry chicken. Personally, this is my go-to cooking oil, because it’s relatively inexpensive and really versatile.

Excellent in Moderation

4. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is tasty. It lowers bad cholesterol, has vitamin E and may help you control blood sugar levels. The reason I put it in the “with moderation” category is that it can contribute to inflammation if you eat too much.

That’s not usually a problem, though, because most people don’t want every meal to taste like peanuts. Try peanut oil with Chinese, Thai or Indian food. The pop of nutty flavor is incredible.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become popular as a way to boost your body’s fat burning abilities. It has a type of fat called MCT, which turns into energy instead of getting stored as belly fat. A spoonful of coconut oil can work wonders for kickstarting the metabolism in the morning.

Coconut oil has a high smoke point, so it also makes stir-frying and sautéing easy. The slightly sweet taste enhances the flavor of any recipe.

The Worst

6. Vegetable Oil

If you see vegetable oil at the store, keep on walking. This oil usually contains a blend of several oils, such as sunflower, canola, soy and others. But because it’s so highly processed, it doesn’t have any healthy nutrients. Manufacturers often use a small amount of normally healthy oils such as sunflower to hide cheaper oils (palm or corn oil) that contribute to higher cholesterol.

The Bottom Line

Don’t fall for the trick of mixed vegetable oils. Fresh, organic, nutritious oils are always better for your health. Cold-pressed options cost more, but they often have a higher amount of antioxidants and vitamins.

Also, think outside the box with recipes. Oils aren’t just for frying! Use them to give flavor and nutrition to every meal.

Why I Love Cold-Pressed Salad Dressings

A normal juicer generates heat, which ends up destroying many nutrients in fruit and veggies.  A cold press juicer is different. It “squeezes” and grinds ingredients, so the juice keeps its vitamin content. You can use this to create delicious salad dressings that are packed with nutrients.

Cold Pressing Is Amazing

Cold-pressed juices and smoothies give you way more benefits:

  • More vitamins and minerals
  • More enzymes and prebiotics
  • More juice
  • More fiber
  • More flavor

Cold-pressed juice has more pulp, too, so it’s thicker and creamier. Homemade salad dressings made this way taste incredible, and they do your body good.

Cold-Pressed Salad Dressings Are Really Healthy

Many scientists suspect that the secret to why people in Mediterranean cultures seem to live longer and stay healthier is their diet, especially fresh olive oil. Cold-pressed olive oil is rich in antioxidants that protect your heart and help to prevent diabetes and cancer.

In fact, the antioxidants in cold-pressed olive oil can even reduce inflammation and improve immune health. That helps sore muscles recover faster and painful joints feel less pain. It also has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels.

Cold-pressed juices make a great addition to healthy salad dressings, too. They have prebiotics and enzymes that benefit your digestive health.

My Favorite Cold-Pressed Salad Dressings Are Easy To Make

1. Miracle Mediterranean Vinaigrette

Bring the healing power of the Mediterranean diet to your table:

  • 1 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary, oregano, basil or any herb you like
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

Just mix the ingredients and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours or days. This vinaigrette is a great salad dressing base that you can add to with many different fruit or veggie combinations. For example, add a pop of orange with some grated orange zest.

2. Vegan Ceviche Dressing

Looking for a punch of flavor from South American cuisine? Follow the vinaigrette recipe above, but add cold-pressed orange juice and a generous squeeze of lime. Instead of other herbs, use a pinch of fresh cilantro for a Latin twist. I love using this dressing with salads that have some chopped avocado.

3. Tangy Apple & Ginger Dressing

I make this dressing when I’m having company over and everyone goes crazy. 

  • 1 lb. red apples
  • 1/3 cup peeled orange
  • 1 tbsp ginger root
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

First, put the fruit and ginger into the juicer. Then, add the honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix well and serve! Personally, I like using this dressing with Asian-inspired carrot/lettuce/cabbage salads, sprinkling some crushed peanuts on top.

4. Winter Beet Vinaigrette

Think outside of the box with your cold-press juicer! Get creative with seasonal ingredients: fennel, beets, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and more!

  • 1 lb. beets
  • 1/3 cup fennel
  • 1 cup peeled orange
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of fresh parsley

Beets are naturally sweet, so I pair them with fennel, orange, parsley and balsamic vinegar to balance them out. Add 1 cup plain yogurt (or ½ cup buttermilk and ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise, but you didn’t hear that from me) for a creamy version with probiotics for your tummy.

Whether you like smoothies for breakfast, fresh juice for an afternoon treat or cold-pressed salad dressing to spice up meals, you have a lot of ingredients to choose from. Go wild and benefit from the vitamin boost!

Four Nutritious, Fool-Proof Slow Cooker Recipes

The slow cooker saves the day as my secret weapon in the kitchen more than I care to admit. What could be better than throwing a bunch of ingredients in the pot, pushing a single button and coming back to a delicious meal? As I've been on my slow cooker journey, I've found a lot of recipes that might be easy, but have limited nutritional value. If you've also felt that struggle, try one of these four incredibly easy AND healthy slow cooker recipes next time you need a meal plan that will satisfy your whole family without taking up your whole day.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

The flavors in this one make it a warming winter meal. Just combine the following ingredients in your slow cooker:

  • 6 c water

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 onions, whatever kind you happen to have

  • 1 T of your favorite curry powder

  • 1 T grated fresh ginger or powdered if you don't have access to fresh

  • Half a cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Set the timer for 4 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 7 hours to cook the soup on low. Before serving, puree the soup with an immersion blender to achieve your preferred texture. I love this soup with a bit of Greek yogurt and a few nuts for garnish.

Slow Cooker Salmon

Fish in the slow cooker? Believe it! Follow these steps for incredibly moist, tender salmon:

  • Line the slow cooker with parchment paper.

  • Layer lemon slices on top of the paper. One lemon should cover it.

  • Season a 2-lb salmon filet with salt and pepper to taste, then place it on top of the lemons.

  • Add 1 1/2 c seafood or veggie broth and the juice of another 1/2 lemon.

Cook your fish on low for just 2 hours and serve with brown rice and a sprinkling of fresh dill for an easy and incredible meal.

Garlic Sesame Chicken

Takeout sounds great until you consider the calorie count, not to mention the cost. Keep it light and fresh with this simple Chinese-inspired chicken dish. Here's your guide:

  • Make a sauce in seconds by whisking 1 T brown sugar, 1/3 c sesame oil, 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce and 1/3 cup mirin (rice wine).

  • Place 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the bowl of your crockpot. Add salt, pepper and the soy sauce mixture you just made.

  • Add 8 cloves of garlic and about 1 inch of fresh ginger cut into small chunks.

Cook the chicken on low for 5 to 6 hours, then remove, shred and return to the sauce. I love serving this low-fat meal with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and fun toppings like sesame seeds, sliced red chilis and green onions.

Ground Turkey Chili

From game day to potluck picnics, this turkey chili delivers in flavor with less fat than its ground beef counterpart. Just combine these ingredients in your slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. 98% lean ground turkey or chicken (or sub 1 lb. beans)

  • 1 chopped red bell pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 32 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 15 oz can corn

  • 1 c chicken broth

  • 4 T of your go-to chili powder

  • 2 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 tsp. oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Toppings are a must when you serve this incredible chili. I always make sure to have lime juice, sliced avocado and low-fat sour cream on the table.

With these easy recipes, you don't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen to eat well and nourish your body. Take back your time, save money and stick to your meal plan by investing in a slow cooker.

Unique Ingredients That Are Good for Your Health

Are you trying to eat healthier but running out of creative ideas for nutritious meals that actually taste good? You’re not alone. It seems like I make a resolution every year to eat healthily, but I get bored of my options about a month in and give up. This year, however, I’ve decided to make sure I don’t fall for this same mistake. Since I know that eating healthy is so important if I want to maintain a good weight, avoid illnesses and just feel better about myself, I figured out a way to stick with my resolution this year.

To help me keep my meals exciting and interesting, I decided to make a game of healthy eating. Instead of eating broccoli and chicken every night, I am challenging myself to use a variety of ingredients in my meals each week. Here are some unique ingredients I decided to try. They’re very healthy, and they might just make things interesting enough that I’ll meet my goal of eating healthy all year. You should try it with me!  At the very least, it will be an educational adventure, right?


OK, I have to be honest here. I’ve heard about the incredible benefits of spirulina for a while, but I tasted a tiny bit of it plain once and I never wanted to eat the stuff again. But then I found out that it’s best to mask the flavor of spirulina (which is slightly fishy because it’s a seaweed) with other ingredients. It’s especially helpful to throw a teaspoon of spirulina into fruit smoothies. You won’t even taste it, but you’ll benefit from it.

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in existence. It’s full of things like protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, copper and iron. It’s also quite an energy booster (as I can attest to!)


No, I didn’t just sneeze. Kudzu is a root that’s native to Japan and is also commonly called kuzu. It has a thick consistency, which makes it a great thickener for sauces or soups. Kudzu tastes a little bit like spinach, but it’s easy to mask the flavor with other ingredients.

Kudzu is thought to strengthen the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also help relieve hangovers and minimize headaches while having a general calming effect on the mind and body. Kudzu has long been used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I’m planning to make a Kudzu pudding this week and experience the benefits for myself.


Maca is a well-known superfood from Peru. It’s a cruciferous root vegetable that’s often made into a powder that can be sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies or lattes. It has an earthy taste that lends itself well to many different dishes.

Maca provides caffeine-free energy that can help you get through your day without the typical afternoon energy crash. It may also balance hormones and enhance fertility (which is not something I need, but may be great for you younger ladies!)


Cordyceps is a type of nutritional mushroom that has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s easy to add it to stir-fries, stews and salads. It also comes in powder form that makes it easier to add to smoothies and lattes.

Some studies show that cordyceps can lower inflammation and support heart health. There is even research that suggests it can help slow down cancer growth! It’s also thought to reduce fatigue and help improve sex drive. Heaven knows I could use that last benefit!

Get Healthy With Me!

These are just a few of the unusual but incredibly healthy ingredients I plan to rotate into my regular meals this year. Why not join me? Let’s experience firsthand how fun and energizing healthy eating can really be.

Soothing Recipes for When You’re Feeling Sick

When you're not feeling well, cooking is probably the last thing on your mind. However, to get better, you need good nutrition! Also, you're probably hungry. When figuring out what to eat when you're sick, you should consider a few different things. First, you need to stay hydrated, so soup is always a good choice, right? Plus, it's warm and soothing, and it feels like a giant hug in a bowl. Second, your body needs vitamins, minerals, and protein to boost your immune system. Third, you don't feel like cooking, so you need something quick and easy. Better yet, think about making some "sick day" meals when you are well and stashing them in the freezer. With all these points in mind, here are a few tried and true recipes to make your next sick day a little less miserable.

Nourishing Soup

Homemade soup is a fantastic option when you're sick, for many reasons. When you make your own soup, you can avoid adding sodium levels normally found in canned soup. You can also customize the dish however you like, without worrying that the store will run out of your favorite type. Soup is often filled with healthy vegetables and protein, which can help you feel better, and all the liquid broth is good for keeping you hydrated. For a simple vegetable soup, use bone broth or stock and add whatever diced veggies you have on hand, roasting them first for more flavor. Add in whatever sounds good, from leftover rice to quinoa to diced chicken, beans, or ground beef. Remember that any grains you add will take up some of the liquid, so be prepared to add water or broth at the end.

Nutritious Smoothie

When you have a sore throat or a stomach ache, you may find that the thought of food makes you feel worse. In that case, a cold, blended, fruit-and-vegetable smoothie may be the answer. You'll get an extra boost of nutrition without feeling bogged down by a big meal. To make a basic green smoothie, add two cups of liquid, such as water or almond milk, and two cups of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, to a blender. Puree. Next, add three cups of chopped, frozen fruit to the mixture and blend again. For an extra boost, add a small amount of ginger or turmeric before the second blend.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are delicious, easy to prepare, and, when cooked, have a soft, creamy consistency that warms and soothes. They're also packed with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C. To roast sweet potatoes, scrub them, poke them several times with a fork, rub them with oil, and bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for around 45 minutes. Once they have cooled slightly, slit the tops, lightly mash them inside, and fill with warm toppings of your choice. Try white beans with wilted kale, or a simple salt, pepper, and butter mixture.

The beauty of all these recipes is that they are packed with powerful antioxidants and are easy to either make ahead or throw together even when you don't feel like being in the kitchen. Here's to a speedy recovery!

Stomach Upset? 5 Soothing Teas To Sip That Will Ease Nausea Discomfort

Sipping a cup of soothing tea is one of the best ways to calm an upset stomach. There are a lot of teas that work, but I want to share five that you may not have tried before:

1. Ginger Tea

Ginger is one of the best teas for getting rid of nausea and stomach aches quickly. Many moms-to-be drink ginger tea as a remedy for morning sickness. My daughter did that when she was pregnant with her baby girl and it helped her a lot.

Another reason I recommend ginger tea is that it has lots of flavor. If you normally dislike herbal teas because they’re too “light,” ginger has a tangy pop of flavor you’ll love.

How to make ginger tea: Cut a piece of ginger a few inches long and peel it. Add this whole piece to boiling water and let it simmer for 3–5 minutes. If you want, add some honey for sweetness.

2. Peppermint Tea

The menthol in peppermint has a relaxing effect on intestinal muscles. This makes peppermint tea an excellent choice for cramps and stomach pain. Personally, I find that even just smelling the aroma of peppermint tea helps me get rid of nausea. Each time I take a sip, I breathe in the calming steam that rises from my cup.

How to make real peppermint tea: I love fresh peppermint. To make tea with fresh leaves, crush a handful of peppermint with the back of a spoon. Let it steep for around 7 minutes. You can either filter the leaves afterward or savor them.

3. Fennel Tea

Fennel looks like a strange type of celery and it tastes similar to licorice or anise. When it comes to alleviating the different symptoms of upset stomach, fennel does it all. It can help with gas, bloating, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, menstrual cramps and other digestive troubles. It even has antibacterial effects for the times when indigestion is because of a mild stomach infection.

How to make fennel tea: The easiest, and cheapest, way to make fennel tea is with 1–2 teaspoons of whole fennel seeds. First, crush them gently with the back of a spoon. Add them to 2 cups of water and let them boil for 2–3 minutes.

4. Lemon and Honey Tea

Citrus fruit has refreshing oils that calm nausea and vomiting. If fact, smelling a cut lemon may give you all the relief you need. I like the double combination of lemon scent and warm tea. Honey gives your digestive system some antibacterial help at the same time.

How to make fresh lemon and honey tea: Squeeze the juice from one medium or large lemon into a cup (about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice). Add 2 teaspoons of honey. Pour boiling water into this glass and stir the mixture until the honey dissolves.

5. Holy Basil (Tulsi) Tea

A newcomer in the U.S., holy basil is a sacred herb in India (called tulsi) that’s been used for thousands of years. This exotic relative of common basil helps to decrease stomach acid, protect the lining of your stomach, soothe nausea and even calm anxiety, all of which can help your tummy feel more comfortable.

How to make tulsi tea: Add 2–3 teaspoons of holy basil leaves or dried leaf powder to a cup of boiling water and let everything simmer for about 5 minutes.

Trust me, these 5 teas work wonders for an upset tummy. They’re pretty tasty and relaxing, too.

How to Make Recipes Bread-less

I’m learning that as I get older, my body doesn’t tolerate certain foods like it used to. One of those foods is bread. Unfortunately, bread is in almost all of my favorite recipes, so I was under the impression that I’d have to give up my most beloved dishes to get rid of the constant bloating and discomfort I was feeling. Have you found yourself in this sad situation before?

The good news is that you don’t have to give up all your favorite recipes after all! I’ve discovered I can still have all of my preferred foods if I make a few small adjustments to the recipes. Though they taste a little bit different, they are similar enough to keep me satisfied. Here are some of my favorite ways to make recipes bread-less.

Cauliflower Bread

Many people like to substitute cauliflower bread for regular wheat bread. The nice thing about this option is that you can find a variety of commercially produced cauliflower products, so you don’t have to make them at home if you don’t want to. Cauliflower makes great bread and pizza crusts. If making your own, you’ll first need to grate and cook the cauliflower. Then, you’ll mix it with bread, spices and cheese before baking. There are many different cauliflower bread and pizza crust recipes out there. Give one or more a try and see for yourself how versatile this white vegetable can be!

Portobello Mushrooms

OK, hear me out. If someone had told me just last month that I could use big Portobello mushrooms in place of bread in my favorite recipes, I would have laughed myself silly. So I don’t blame you if you’re rolling your eyes right now. All I’m asking is that you try it.

I made the juiciest turkey burgers last week, and I thought I would never be able to fully enjoy them without my signature buttered bread buns. Happily, I proved myself wrong! I grilled up two of the biggest Portobello mushrooms I’ve ever seen and used them as my buns. Let me tell you, the flavor was out of this world. It was one of the most delicious turkey burgers I have enjoyed in my lifetime. I like the taste of mushrooms normally, though. If you don’t, you may want to try one of my next suggested bread substitutes.

Cloud Bread

Thanks to the current low-carb craze, there are several different low-carb bread recipes you can substitute for regular bread. One of my favorites is cloud bread. Though it looks a lot like puffy bread, it doesn’t include an ounce of wheat. In fact, its only ingredients are eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar and some seasonings. That’s it! There are different variations to this recipe, so go online and give a few of them a try until you find the one that you like best.


Lettuce makes a great substitute for bread, and I’m not even pulling your leg! The key to using lettuce for your sandwiches and burgers is to choose large strips of lettuce. I prefer iceberg or butter lettuce varieties because they have a naturally cupped shape that holds food inside quite well. You can also use green lettuce and romaine lettuce. Simply put the ingredients you want into the center of the lettuce leaf, then roll or fold the leaf around the ingredients and enjoy! As long as the interior of your sandwich is nice and substantial, you won’t even notice the absence of bread.

While there is no substitute in the world that tastes just like bread, there are plenty of options that come close. My favorites are cloud bread and Portobello mushrooms, but your favorites may be completely different. Give each option a try until you discover your most preferred bread alternative.