Curry Up Now - 659 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA

After hearing about Curry Up Now through the grapevine and seeing delicious pictures on instagram, I finally made my way to this fine eating establishment the weekend of July 4th with my family. 

We ended up getting two sides to share; the criss cut sweet potato fries and pair of samosas. I couldn’t detect anything special about the sweet potato fries, other than being incredibly delicious. Dipped in a little bit of the maggi ketchup, we gobbled up the fries long before the other food came. The samosas were encased in a hot and flaky crust, and stuffed with potatoes and peas. I split one of them with my brother and we both agreed that samosas were by far our favorite indian snack.

Of all the entrees on the menu, I decided to go for the burrito because I have a soft spot for those delicious bundles of rice and goodies. Specifically, I got the pork belly burrito in a wheat tortilla and brown rice. After tasting the wonders of pork belly back in SLO, I had to get another fix. The burrito itself wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but I made a note to request slightly less spice next time. Ironically, even though I love food, I have no tolerance for spicy food at all. My brother and mom finished their food before me, while I ate slowly to make the spice less prevalent.

I still really enjoyed the meal here, despite the spice of the food. The wooden tables and stools were a great aesthetic addition to the restaurant, and we even got to watch a little bit of the world cup while we nibbled away at our food. I also got to taste a bit of rose flavored lassi. 

ici ice cream - berkeley, california
greetings from berkeley! I had the pleasure of returning to one of my favorite ice cream shops in the bay area and trying out one of their delicious and unique daily flavors. I decided to get a scoop of the maple bacon ice cream on a house made sugar cone with a chocolate tip.
I love warm flavors like caramel and maple, so this flavor appealed to me more than the usual vanilla or chocolate. I also made a point of getting a cone because they decompose a whole lot faster than any paper or plastic cup.
The sweet sugary flavor of the maple ice cream was delicious and peppered with crunchy bits of savory bacon. The portions were good enough for a post-meal treat, and a good way to celebrate my first week of work. 
it’s been a crazy two weeks, moving back home and then out to my summer apartment. the good thing is that i live super close to a bunch of delicious restaurants and eateries that i’m going to try and devour this summer. 
As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned!!

ici ice cream - berkeley, california

greetings from berkeley! I had the pleasure of returning to one of my favorite ice cream shops in the bay area and trying out one of their delicious and unique daily flavors. I decided to get a scoop of the maple bacon ice cream on a house made sugar cone with a chocolate tip.

I love warm flavors like caramel and maple, so this flavor appealed to me more than the usual vanilla or chocolate. I also made a point of getting a cone because they decompose a whole lot faster than any paper or plastic cup.

The sweet sugary flavor of the maple ice cream was delicious and peppered with crunchy bits of savory bacon. The portions were good enough for a post-meal treat, and a good way to celebrate my first week of work. 

it’s been a crazy two weeks, moving back home and then out to my summer apartment. the good thing is that i live super close to a bunch of delicious restaurants and eateries that i’m going to try and devour this summer. 

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned!!

hi everyone! i’m currently finishing up my freshman year of college and getting ready to spend the summer in the bay area to work as an intern. i will try to continue updating this blog throughout the summer with restaurants i visit in San Francisco/Berkeley. as always, thanks for reading and keeping up with me this year. i really appreciate all the support and love. see you soon!!!

It’s dead week and summer is looming on the horizon. You are tired, unmotivated and drowning in a sea of assignments that are all due tomorrow. The last thing you want to add to your ever growing to do list is figuring out what to eat that will leave the least damage to your already stressed out body. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1) Bananas and Apples
Keep it simple with some fresh fruit. In addition to being a great source of Vitamin C and fiber, fruits like bananas and apples give you an extra push to get you through the long afternoon. Leave them whole to enjoy with your lunch or spice it up by combining your favorite fruits in a fruit salad. Either way, make sure to throw it in the fridge for chilled deliciousness.
(via: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com)
2) Dried Fruits and Nuts
If chewy and crunchy snacks are more your taste, energize your way through the afternoon with a handful of dried fruits and nuts. The healthy fats and protein found in dried fruits and nuts provide a slow-burning food source for your stomach to curb the hunger and keep you sharp at the desk. Make sure to eat just a handful to avoid post meal grogginess. 
(via: http://www.health.com)
3) Dark Chocolate
Although I personally prefer milk chocolate more, dark chocolate has more health benefits and fewer calories than any milk or white chocolate bar. This velvety and delicious cocoa confectionary is also a great source of natural caffeine and sugar that is sure to tame any sweet tooth. Opt for organic dark chocolate that is packed with powerful antioxidants, making sure to only eat an ounce a day to avoid getting a sugar high. If you are still skeptical, here are 10 reasons why you should eat more dark chocolate. 
(via: http://kimberlysnyder.net/)
4) Eggs
Whether soft-boiled, hard-boiled, scrambled or poached, eggs are an easy and delicious way of getting more protein and energy in your diet. Zinc and phosphorus are just some of the many energizing minerals found in eggs that provide that boost of energy when you need it most. With just 78 calories, eggs are an easy option for on the go snacking. 
(via: http://thistimethisspace.com)
5) Green Tea
While drinking a cup of hot green tea is one way of staying awake, get creative with a green tea infused smoothie. Blend together a freshly brewed cup of green tea, your choice of fruit, a dash of honey and a cup of milk for a delicious and energizing smoothie. The green tea provides a gentle jolt of caffeine that will keep you awake until bedtime, while the fruit and milk are great sources of protein and calcium. Use organic or locally grown fruit for extra brownie points. 
(via: http://www.joybauer.com)
6) Popcorn
One of my all time favorite snacks is popcorn because of its easy snacking and addictive crunchy texture. The whole grain and fiber found in popcorn is great for healthy snacking and curbing cravings, without the heaviness of other carbohydrates that can lead to food-induced comas. Make trail mix with equal parts popcorn, Edamame and peanuts for a high fiber snack with a steady supply of energy. 
(via: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com)
7) Pudding
Another way of satisfying that sweet tooth is dipping into a delicious pudding cup. Instead of reaching for yet another bar of Hershey’s that will leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive, opt for some homemade low cholesterol chocolate pudding. This high-protein snack made of 6 ounces of Greek yogurt and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder will give you enough energy to power through any task. Garnish with a sprig of mint for a little bit of extra flavor.
(via: http://www.joybauer.com)
8) Coconut Water
Filled with natural enzymes and electrolytes that detox the body, coconut water is the next best way of rehydrating. The lack of calories and fat in coconut water makes this beverage yet another healthy option for staying hydrated and awake during the day. If you do not have a ripe coconut on hand to crack open, boxed coconut water is a good substitute.
(via: http://kimberlysnyder.net)
9) Greek Yogurt
Besides the calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins found in every yogurt, Greek yogurt provides even more protein with fewer calories. The protein keeps you full for longer periods of time, while also acting as a natural source of energy. Mix in a handful of berries for extra brain food and flavor.
(via: http://www.thepostgame.com)
10) Tuna
Served in sushi or sandwiches, tuna is a versatile source of lean protein that contains a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids, essential in providing energy for organ function in the body. Serve with whole-wheat crackers and freshly sliced mozzarella cheese for a light snack, or sprinkle on top of salads as a flavorful topping.
 (via: http://www.sheknows.com)

It’s dead week and summer is looming on the horizon. You are tired, unmotivated and drowning in a sea of assignments that are all due tomorrow. The last thing you want to add to your ever growing to do list is figuring out what to eat that will leave the least damage to your already stressed out body. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Bananas and Apples

Keep it simple with some fresh fruit. In addition to being a great source of Vitamin C and fiber, fruits like bananas and apples give you an extra push to get you through the long afternoon. Leave them whole to enjoy with your lunch or spice it up by combining your favorite fruits in a fruit salad. Either way, make sure to throw it in the fridge for chilled deliciousness.

(via: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com)

2) Dried Fruits and Nuts

If chewy and crunchy snacks are more your taste, energize your way through the afternoon with a handful of dried fruits and nuts. The healthy fats and protein found in dried fruits and nuts provide a slow-burning food source for your stomach to curb the hunger and keep you sharp at the desk. Make sure to eat just a handful to avoid post meal grogginess. 

(via: http://www.health.com)

3) Dark Chocolate

Although I personally prefer milk chocolate more, dark chocolate has more health benefits and fewer calories than any milk or white chocolate bar. This velvety and delicious cocoa confectionary is also a great source of natural caffeine and sugar that is sure to tame any sweet tooth. Opt for organic dark chocolate that is packed with powerful antioxidants, making sure to only eat an ounce a day to avoid getting a sugar high. If you are still skeptical, here are 10 reasons why you should eat more dark chocolate

(via: http://kimberlysnyder.net/)

4) Eggs

Whether soft-boiled, hard-boiled, scrambled or poached, eggs are an easy and delicious way of getting more protein and energy in your diet. Zinc and phosphorus are just some of the many energizing minerals found in eggs that provide that boost of energy when you need it most. With just 78 calories, eggs are an easy option for on the go snacking. 

(via: http://thistimethisspace.com)

5) Green Tea

While drinking a cup of hot green tea is one way of staying awake, get creative with a green tea infused smoothie. Blend together a freshly brewed cup of green tea, your choice of fruit, a dash of honey and a cup of milk for a delicious and energizing smoothie. The green tea provides a gentle jolt of caffeine that will keep you awake until bedtime, while the fruit and milk are great sources of protein and calcium. Use organic or locally grown fruit for extra brownie points. 

(via: http://www.joybauer.com)

6) Popcorn

One of my all time favorite snacks is popcorn because of its easy snacking and addictive crunchy texture. The whole grain and fiber found in popcorn is great for healthy snacking and curbing cravings, without the heaviness of other carbohydrates that can lead to food-induced comas. Make trail mix with equal parts popcorn, Edamame and peanuts for a high fiber snack with a steady supply of energy. 

(via: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com)

7) Pudding

Another way of satisfying that sweet tooth is dipping into a delicious pudding cup. Instead of reaching for yet another bar of Hershey’s that will leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive, opt for some homemade low cholesterol chocolate pudding. This high-protein snack made of 6 ounces of Greek yogurt and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder will give you enough energy to power through any task. Garnish with a sprig of mint for a little bit of extra flavor.

(via: http://www.joybauer.com)

8) Coconut Water

Filled with natural enzymes and electrolytes that detox the body, coconut water is the next best way of rehydrating. The lack of calories and fat in coconut water makes this beverage yet another healthy option for staying hydrated and awake during the day. If you do not have a ripe coconut on hand to crack open, boxed coconut water is a good substitute.

(via: http://kimberlysnyder.net)

9) Greek Yogurt

Besides the calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins found in every yogurt, Greek yogurt provides even more protein with fewer calories. The protein keeps you full for longer periods of time, while also acting as a natural source of energy. Mix in a handful of berries for extra brain food and flavor.

(via: http://www.thepostgame.com)

10) Tuna

Served in sushi or sandwiches, tuna is a versatile source of lean protein that contains a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids, essential in providing energy for organ function in the body. Serve with whole-wheat crackers and freshly sliced mozzarella cheese for a light snack, or sprinkle on top of salads as a flavorful topping.

 (via: http://www.sheknows.com)

Whether it’s reaching for a bag of chips or cracking open another can of soda, few have resisted the intense cravings that sometimes leave us surrounded by wrappers and an overwhelming sense of guilt. 
Fortunately, there are some alternatives to curb those cravings and stop them for good.
1. Sweets
Having a strong sweet tooth can sometimes be a hassle, especially when the cravings kick in and it is difficult to find even an ounce of self-control. Fortunately, beating this craving does not mean giving up sweets entirely. Indulging can help ease the cravings without coming up completely empty-handed.
Craving sweet things also indicates a diet short on carbon and phosphorus supplements. Incorporate fresh fruits and protein to improve your diet and keep cravings at bay. Keep some apples, pears, oranges, nuts or yogurt on hand for an easy to-go snack. 
(via: webmd)
2. Chocolate
As with the sweets, it is OK to indulge in chocolate as long as it’s in moderation. By choosing to eat a higher quality over a large quantity of chocolate, you will feel satisfied and have room for healthier options. Chocolate cravings signal a diet low in magnesium, which can be found in raw nuts and seeds, legumes and fresh fruits. Chop up some fresh fruit in a Tupperware to keep handy when cravings hit, or grab a handful of your favorite trail mix to snack on throughout the day. 
(via: thegloss)
3. Carbohydrates
Comfort foods such as bread and pasta stimulate serotonin production in the body, producing a naturally occurring feel-good chemical. In reality, craving carbohydrates is actually a craving for some kind of reassurance. Instead of binging on carbohydrates, do something to improve your mood such as talking to a friend or going for a run. Cravings for carbohydrates signal a lack of nitrogen in the body, which can be easily remedied through high protein foods such as fish, meat, nuts and beans. If the craving is still there, opt for whole-wheat options in a controlled portion size and remove any extra add-ons such as butter or pasta sauce.
(via: style.uk.msn)
4. Salty food
Possibly one of the hardest cravings to resist, salty foods can be found in everything from tempting fast food to crinkly bags of potato chips. This is one of my most common cravings, which is linked to low levels of calcium — something I personally do not get a lot of in my daily diet. The satisfying crunchiness of potato chips can also be linked to stress. To combat this, eat more broccoli, kale or dark leafy greens, in addition to taking calcium supplements.
(via: dailytransformations)
5. Meat
After a long, stressful day, it’s tempting to drop a couple bucks for a satisfying burger. The craving of sinking your teeth into a hearty piece of meat may actually be a sign of protein and iron deficiency. Of course, protein has to be found from some source. However, it is smarter to avoid fatty and processed meats that are high in saturated fats. Instead, pick controlled portions of lean proteins such as chicken or turkey, which have less fat than regular red meat.
(via: style.uk.msn)
6. Dairy
For those who crave ice cream, cheese or a tall glass of cold milk, it may be due to a calcium deficiency rather than an addiction to dairy. Milk is a great source of fat, protein, vitamin D and calcium, which is great for strong bones and teeth. Additionally, the amino acids found in milk are similar to opiates and can make the satisfying feeling of eating dairy more addictive over time. But this craving is not necessarily negative, as it’s a great source of calcium.
 (via: roskia.hubpages)
7. Soda
There is virtually no nutritional content found in carbonated drinks. Instead, soda contains a lot of synthetic sweeteners, food coloring and excessive caffeine, making you even more dehydrated than before consumption. In addition, a craving for carbonated drinks is linked to low levels of calcium. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied with yogurt, cheese or 2 percent milk. Keep some string cheese or a serving of yogurt handy to curb cravings.
(via: odyb)
8. Alcohol
Alcohol in mass amounts is bad for anyone. However, for those that are of age, pair a glass of red wine with dinner — it’s the only alcohol that has proven health benefits. Instead of spending the weekend drinking, shift the focus onto healthier replacements with a higher value for your body. Cravings for alcohol are linked to low levels of protein, calcium and potassium, which can easily be found in lean meats, dairy products and legumes, respectively. Add a serving of lean meat or a glass of milk to each meal.
(via: odyb)
9. Tobacco
For those that crave tobacco throughout the day, this is a signal for low levels of silicon and tyrosine in the body. Instead of going for a smoke break, your body really needs the protein and fiber found in a serving of raw nuts or seeds, in addition to Vitamin C found in oranges, green and red fruits and vegetables. Pack a Ziploc bag filled with a handful of almonds or a fresh orange to snack on during the day. 
(via: dailytransformations)
10. Caffeine
Caffeine is the bane of existence for many college students, forcing them to reach for another cup of coffee during the day when it is really an extra serving of vitamin C or iron that the body needs. Instead of going on a Starbucks run, increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet, including apricots, figs or raw broccoli, which is a naturally occurring boost of energy. 
(via: rosika.hubpages)

Whether it’s reaching for a bag of chips or cracking open another can of soda, few have resisted the intense cravings that sometimes leave us surrounded by wrappers and an overwhelming sense of guilt. 

Fortunately, there are some alternatives to curb those cravings and stop them for good.

1. Sweets

Having a strong sweet tooth can sometimes be a hassle, especially when the cravings kick in and it is difficult to find even an ounce of self-control. Fortunately, beating this craving does not mean giving up sweets entirely. Indulging can help ease the cravings without coming up completely empty-handed.

Craving sweet things also indicates a diet short on carbon and phosphorus supplements. Incorporate fresh fruits and protein to improve your diet and keep cravings at bay. Keep some apples, pears, oranges, nuts or yogurt on hand for an easy to-go snack. 

(via: webmd)

2. Chocolate

As with the sweets, it is OK to indulge in chocolate as long as it’s in moderation. By choosing to eat a higher quality over a large quantity of chocolate, you will feel satisfied and have room for healthier options. Chocolate cravings signal a diet low in magnesium, which can be found in raw nuts and seeds, legumes and fresh fruits. Chop up some fresh fruit in a Tupperware to keep handy when cravings hit, or grab a handful of your favorite trail mix to snack on throughout the day. 

(via: thegloss)

3. Carbohydrates

Comfort foods such as bread and pasta stimulate serotonin production in the body, producing a naturally occurring feel-good chemical. In reality, craving carbohydrates is actually a craving for some kind of reassurance. Instead of binging on carbohydrates, do something to improve your mood such as talking to a friend or going for a run. Cravings for carbohydrates signal a lack of nitrogen in the body, which can be easily remedied through high protein foods such as fish, meat, nuts and beans. If the craving is still there, opt for whole-wheat options in a controlled portion size and remove any extra add-ons such as butter or pasta sauce.

(via: style.uk.msn)

4. Salty food

Possibly one of the hardest cravings to resist, salty foods can be found in everything from tempting fast food to crinkly bags of potato chips. This is one of my most common cravings, which is linked to low levels of calcium — something I personally do not get a lot of in my daily diet. The satisfying crunchiness of potato chips can also be linked to stress. To combat this, eat more broccoli, kale or dark leafy greens, in addition to taking calcium supplements.

(via: dailytransformations)

5. Meat

After a long, stressful day, it’s tempting to drop a couple bucks for a satisfying burger. The craving of sinking your teeth into a hearty piece of meat may actually be a sign of protein and iron deficiency. Of course, protein has to be found from some source. However, it is smarter to avoid fatty and processed meats that are high in saturated fats. Instead, pick controlled portions of lean proteins such as chicken or turkey, which have less fat than regular red meat.

(via: style.uk.msn)

6. Dairy

For those who crave ice cream, cheese or a tall glass of cold milk, it may be due to a calcium deficiency rather than an addiction to dairy. Milk is a great source of fat, protein, vitamin D and calcium, which is great for strong bones and teeth. Additionally, the amino acids found in milk are similar to opiates and can make the satisfying feeling of eating dairy more addictive over time. But this craving is not necessarily negative, as it’s a great source of calcium.

 (via: roskia.hubpages)

7. Soda

There is virtually no nutritional content found in carbonated drinks. Instead, soda contains a lot of synthetic sweeteners, food coloring and excessive caffeine, making you even more dehydrated than before consumption. In addition, a craving for carbonated drinks is linked to low levels of calcium. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied with yogurt, cheese or 2 percent milk. Keep some string cheese or a serving of yogurt handy to curb cravings.

(via: odyb)

8. Alcohol

Alcohol in mass amounts is bad for anyone. However, for those that are of age, pair a glass of red wine with dinner — it’s the only alcohol that has proven health benefits. Instead of spending the weekend drinking, shift the focus onto healthier replacements with a higher value for your body. Cravings for alcohol are linked to low levels of protein, calcium and potassium, which can easily be found in lean meats, dairy products and legumes, respectively. Add a serving of lean meat or a glass of milk to each meal.

(via: odyb)

9. Tobacco

For those that crave tobacco throughout the day, this is a signal for low levels of silicon and tyrosine in the body. Instead of going for a smoke break, your body really needs the protein and fiber found in a serving of raw nuts or seeds, in addition to Vitamin C found in oranges, green and red fruits and vegetables. Pack a Ziploc bag filled with a handful of almonds or a fresh orange to snack on during the day. 

(via: dailytransformations)

10. Caffeine

Caffeine is the bane of existence for many college students, forcing them to reach for another cup of coffee during the day when it is really an extra serving of vitamin C or iron that the body needs. Instead of going on a Starbucks run, increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet, including apricots, figs or raw broccoli, which is a naturally occurring boost of energy. 

(via: rosika.hubpages)

Spring quarter is almost halfway over, giving little motivation to stay inside and not enjoy the beautiful weather outside. With more hours of sunshine, athletic peers and a top-notch Recreation Center, there is a plethora of reasons to break out those running shoes and get in a good workout. Here are some great options to snack on after an intense workout session to help your body recover.
1. Fruit and low-fat yogurt
While I definitely prefer this snack frozen, yogurt is a good source of protein and essential fats for after a workout. Mix and match different fruits and yogurt flavors for some added carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. Additionally, you can place the yogurt, berries and some ice into a blender to make a refreshing post-workout smoothie. (via SparkPeople)
2. Chicken stir-fry
Whenever I come back from the gym, I make sure to include at least one serving of lean protein, such as chicken, in my meal. Chop up several servings of vegetables and toss them on the stove with the prepared chicken. Season with salt and pepper and serve with white rice. For a vegetarian option, simply swap the chicken with some cubed extra-firm tofu or shelled edamame. (via AskMen)
3. Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein if eaten in moderation, and have great health benefits found exclusively in the yolks. In addition to chemicals that assist in liver detoxification, the yolk is also great for brain function and repairing cell membranes. For a quick morning meal, beat two eggs until combined and add lots of sun-dried tomatoes, capers and herbs to add flavor without the extra calories. Prepare the omelet in a pan and serve with freshly sliced avocado. (via FitDay)
4. Canned tuna  
For sandwich lovers everywhere, a great post workout option is tuna on toasted whole wheat bread. Studies show eating a combination of carbs and proteins has a big impact on post-workout body recovery. Canned tuna prepared with a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil on a slice of toasted whole wheat bread is an ideal snack after hitting the gym. Instead of bread, crackers are a great energizing substitute for fewer carbohydrates. (via Fitness Magazine)
5. Chocolate milk
This iconic choice beverage of childhood also doubles as a great recovery drink. With enough protein and carbohydrates to repair and restore muscle tissue, it is a wonder more people do not include this drink in their post workout routine. Chocolate milk is the most useful drink for endurance athletes such as long-distance runners, because it sustains a steady level of constant performance, replenishing exhausted muscles and speeding up recovery. (via FitDay)
6. Nuts
While mostly eaten on hikes or in school lunches, nuts are a great source of protein with less fat. Combine with a cold glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice for a simple and light snack. Additionally, include a scoop of pretzels, raisins or dark chocolate chips in a plastic bag to make a delicious and easy trail mix. (via Men’s Fitness)  
7. Whole grain waffles
This snack takes almost no effort to make. After coming home from the gym, throw a waffle into the toaster and top with your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of almond or peanut butter. This easy-to-make snack has a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and even essential fats. Top with a handful of fresh berries. (via Reader’s Digest)
8. Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great option before and after a morning workout, already being a popular breakfast option. The carbohydrates found in oatmeal are released slowly throughout the day, maintaining a feeling of fullness and preventing snacking. Slice up a ripe banana for some added sweetness and extra potassium. (via Fitness Magazine)
9. Apple and string cheese
Pair apple slices and string cheese for this childhood throwback snack, while getting a healthy amount of calcium and protein. The antioxidants found in fresh fruit help curb hunger, while the string cheese provides a salty contrast to the sweetness of the apples. Substitute apples with whole-grain crackers for additional complex carbohydrates and fiber. (via Prevention)
10. Tomato soup
Though usually accompanied with dinner, a light and fresh tomato soup is a delicious way to hydrate after a heavy workout. The fiber, vitamins, potassium and electrolytes found in tomatoes can also be found in many sports drinks. Instead of stocking up on the usual bottled sports drink, snag some juicy red tomatoes to prepare into a bowl of hot soup. Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese and garnish with a slice of toasted garlic bread for dipping. (via Cooking Light) 

Spring quarter is almost halfway over, giving little motivation to stay inside and not enjoy the beautiful weather outside. With more hours of sunshine, athletic peers and a top-notch Recreation Center, there is a plethora of reasons to break out those running shoes and get in a good workout. Here are some great options to snack on after an intense workout session to help your body recover.

1. Fruit and low-fat yogurt

While I definitely prefer this snack frozen, yogurt is a good source of protein and essential fats for after a workout. Mix and match different fruits and yogurt flavors for some added carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. Additionally, you can place the yogurt, berries and some ice into a blender to make a refreshing post-workout smoothie. (via SparkPeople)

2. Chicken stir-fry

Whenever I come back from the gym, I make sure to include at least one serving of lean protein, such as chicken, in my meal. Chop up several servings of vegetables and toss them on the stove with the prepared chicken. Season with salt and pepper and serve with white rice. For a vegetarian option, simply swap the chicken with some cubed extra-firm tofu or shelled edamame. (via AskMen)

3. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein if eaten in moderation, and have great health benefits found exclusively in the yolks. In addition to chemicals that assist in liver detoxification, the yolk is also great for brain function and repairing cell membranes. For a quick morning meal, beat two eggs until combined and add lots of sun-dried tomatoes, capers and herbs to add flavor without the extra calories. Prepare the omelet in a pan and serve with freshly sliced avocado. (via FitDay)

4. Canned tuna  

For sandwich lovers everywhere, a great post workout option is tuna on toasted whole wheat bread. Studies show eating a combination of carbs and proteins has a big impact on post-workout body recovery. Canned tuna prepared with a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil on a slice of toasted whole wheat bread is an ideal snack after hitting the gym. Instead of bread, crackers are a great energizing substitute for fewer carbohydrates. (via Fitness Magazine)

5. Chocolate milk

This iconic choice beverage of childhood also doubles as a great recovery drink. With enough protein and carbohydrates to repair and restore muscle tissue, it is a wonder more people do not include this drink in their post workout routine. Chocolate milk is the most useful drink for endurance athletes such as long-distance runners, because it sustains a steady level of constant performance, replenishing exhausted muscles and speeding up recovery. (via FitDay)

6. Nuts

While mostly eaten on hikes or in school lunches, nuts are a great source of protein with less fat. Combine with a cold glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice for a simple and light snack. Additionally, include a scoop of pretzels, raisins or dark chocolate chips in a plastic bag to make a delicious and easy trail mix. (via Men’s Fitness)  

7. Whole grain waffles

This snack takes almost no effort to make. After coming home from the gym, throw a waffle into the toaster and top with your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of almond or peanut butter. This easy-to-make snack has a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and even essential fats. Top with a handful of fresh berries. (via Reader’s Digest)

8. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great option before and after a morning workout, already being a popular breakfast option. The carbohydrates found in oatmeal are released slowly throughout the day, maintaining a feeling of fullness and preventing snacking. Slice up a ripe banana for some added sweetness and extra potassium. (via Fitness Magazine)

9. Apple and string cheese

Pair apple slices and string cheese for this childhood throwback snack, while getting a healthy amount of calcium and protein. The antioxidants found in fresh fruit help curb hunger, while the string cheese provides a salty contrast to the sweetness of the apples. Substitute apples with whole-grain crackers for additional complex carbohydrates and fiber. (via Prevention)

10. Tomato soup

Though usually accompanied with dinner, a light and fresh tomato soup is a delicious way to hydrate after a heavy workout. The fiber, vitamins, potassium and electrolytes found in tomatoes can also be found in many sports drinks. Instead of stocking up on the usual bottled sports drink, snag some juicy red tomatoes to prepare into a bowl of hot soup. Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese and garnish with a slice of toasted garlic bread for dipping. (via Cooking Light) 

switching from restaurant reviews to healthy ingredient columns has made me way more conscious about my diet. i’m eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and i feel so much healthier than the last two quarters. any suggestions for ingredients i should focus on before summer starts?

Every year when springtime hits, everyone makes firm resolutions to improve their diets or adopt a new workout regimen for that dream body. But rest assured, there’s no need to cut out every delicious snack from a healthy diet. Here are some common foods that are not completely unhealthy.
1. Peanut butter
Even though the creamy texture of peanut butter makes it seem like it’s fattening, peanut butter has a high amount of protein and folate, a water-soluble vitamin B that stimulates the healthy development of new cells. Every 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 16 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Peanut butter also effortlessly regulates your appetite, as its dense nutrients keep you full for a extended period of time. Just be sure to eat in moderation to avoid overloading on calories. 
(via EatingWell) 
2. Eggs 
My mom always warned me about eating too many egg yolks, making me wary to touch any of these so-called “cholesterol bombs.” In reality, the dietary cholesterol found in eggs is less harmful than regular cholesterol, while the compounds found in egg yolks have been linked to reducing the risk of eye-related diseases for people over the age of 50. All the while, eggs also do a great job of satisfying hunger effectively, reducing the likelihood of overeating later in the day. 
(via EatingWell)
3. Potatoes 
The biggest culprit behind why potatoes are considered unhealthy is their high glycemic index (GI), which ranks foods based on their effect on blood sugar, posing a problem for diabetics. Fortunately, the fiber, potassium and vitamin C vastly outweigh the harmful effects of their GI. To increase health benefits, add a little olive oil to minimize the absorption of carbohydrates. 
(via EatingWell) 
4. Coffee 
Coffee practically becomes part of every college student’s bloodstream when finals week rolls around, causing inconvenient jitters and weight gain from the added sugar and cream. However, research shows the positive effects of caffeine found in coffee can minimize the risk of dementia, liver cancer and diabetes. Limit intake to just 8 ounces per day to achieve these health benefits, making sure to cut back if hyperactivity ensues. 
(via EatingWell) 
5. Nuts 
Nuts are full of fats, but not necessarily the bad ones — the fats found in nuts are monounsaturated fats that are great for the heart. Lutein, zeaxanthin and other antioxidants found in nuts have a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. As always, make sure to eat in moderation, because each ounce of nuts can contain anywhere from 160-200 calories. 
(via EatingWell) 
6. Bread 
Bread by itself does not make you fat, especially if you eat it in moderation. Rather, it’s the refined grains and excess carbohydrates that affect a healthy diet. Avoid this diet hazard by switching entirely to whole wheat bread.Whole grains should make up half the consumed grains in a healthy diet, and people who eat more whole grains may live longer. 
(via EatingWell) 
7. Fruits 
This fear of fruit really only applies to diabetics and those watching their sugar intake. The negative effects of avoiding fruit altogether vastly outweigh the minuscule “benefits” of limiting fruit consumption. Eating fruit, for example, has been shown to reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes. In addition to the low glycemic index of the sugars found in fruit, the high percentage of water and fiber helps keep you full for later in the day. Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables a day as part of a healthy and balanced diet. 
(via LiveScience) 
8. Soy 
After being linked to higher rates of breast cancer among rats that consumed a soy derivative, soy was considered dangerous for consumption. This is surprising, considering the heavy influence of soy in Asian cuisine and the general health benefits of this protein. However, that same health connection has not been made with humans, disproving the soy controversy and allowing the FDA to place health labels on many soy food products. 
(via LiveScience) 
9. Alcohol 
The concerns of alcoholism, substance abuse and liver disease are all valid arguments for avoiding alcohol altogether. However, when consumed moderately in a safe environment and at a legal age, alcohol may actually reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. In addition, the beneficial nutrients of polyphenols found in red wine can even minimize blood clots, inflammation and oxidation. Pair a serving of wine with a home-cooked meal for all the health benefits of spirits. 
(via LiveScience) 
10. Fried food 
While eating fried foods in excess is unhealthy, consuming these irresistible snacks in moderation is fine. The only reason fried foods are considered unhealthy are the calories used in butter, shortening or trans fat instead of healthier oils. A small consumption of oil, such as those found in fried foods, can benefit overall health by making it easier for the body to absorb vitamins and boost the body’s metabolism. 
(via LiveScience)

Every year when springtime hits, everyone makes firm resolutions to improve their diets or adopt a new workout regimen for that dream body. But rest assured, there’s no need to cut out every delicious snack from a healthy diet. Here are some common foods that are not completely unhealthy.

1. Peanut butter

Even though the creamy texture of peanut butter makes it seem like it’s fattening, peanut butter has a high amount of protein and folate, a water-soluble vitamin B that stimulates the healthy development of new cells. Every 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 16 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Peanut butter also effortlessly regulates your appetite, as its dense nutrients keep you full for a extended period of time. Just be sure to eat in moderation to avoid overloading on calories.

(via EatingWell)

2. Eggs

My mom always warned me about eating too many egg yolks, making me wary to touch any of these so-called “cholesterol bombs.” In reality, the dietary cholesterol found in eggs is less harmful than regular cholesterol, while the compounds found in egg yolks have been linked to reducing the risk of eye-related diseases for people over the age of 50. All the while, eggs also do a great job of satisfying hunger effectively, reducing the likelihood of overeating later in the day.

(via EatingWell)

3. Potatoes

The biggest culprit behind why potatoes are considered unhealthy is their high glycemic index (GI), which ranks foods based on their effect on blood sugar, posing a problem for diabetics. Fortunately, the fiber, potassium and vitamin C vastly outweigh the harmful effects of their GI. To increase health benefits, add a little olive oil to minimize the absorption of carbohydrates.

(via EatingWell)

4. Coffee

Coffee practically becomes part of every college student’s bloodstream when finals week rolls around, causing inconvenient jitters and weight gain from the added sugar and cream. However, research shows the positive effects of caffeine found in coffee can minimize the risk of dementia, liver cancer and diabetes. Limit intake to just 8 ounces per day to achieve these health benefits, making sure to cut back if hyperactivity ensues.

(via EatingWell)

5. Nuts

Nuts are full of fats, but not necessarily the bad ones — the fats found in nuts are monounsaturated fats that are great for the heart. Lutein, zeaxanthin and other antioxidants found in nuts have a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. As always, make sure to eat in moderation, because each ounce of nuts can contain anywhere from 160-200 calories.

(via EatingWell)

6. Bread

Bread by itself does not make you fat, especially if you eat it in moderation. Rather, it’s the refined grains and excess carbohydrates that affect a healthy diet. Avoid this diet hazard by switching entirely to whole wheat bread.Whole grains should make up half the consumed grains in a healthy diet, and people who eat more whole grains may live longer.

(via EatingWell)

7. Fruits

This fear of fruit really only applies to diabetics and those watching their sugar intake. The negative effects of avoiding fruit altogether vastly outweigh the minuscule “benefits” of limiting fruit consumption. Eating fruit, for example, has been shown to reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes. In addition to the low glycemic index of the sugars found in fruit, the high percentage of water and fiber helps keep you full for later in the day. Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables a day as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

(via LiveScience)

8. Soy

After being linked to higher rates of breast cancer among rats that consumed a soy derivative, soy was considered dangerous for consumption. This is surprising, considering the heavy influence of soy in Asian cuisine and the general health benefits of this protein. However, that same health connection has not been made with humans, disproving the soy controversy and allowing the FDA to place health labels on many soy food products.

(via LiveScience)

9. Alcohol

The concerns of alcoholism, substance abuse and liver disease are all valid arguments for avoiding alcohol altogether. However, when consumed moderately in a safe environment and at a legal age, alcohol may actually reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. In addition, the beneficial nutrients of polyphenols found in red wine can even minimize blood clots, inflammation and oxidation. Pair a serving of wine with a home-cooked meal for all the health benefits of spirits.

(via LiveScience)

10. Fried food

While eating fried foods in excess is unhealthy, consuming these irresistible snacks in moderation is fine. The only reason fried foods are considered unhealthy are the calories used in butter, shortening or trans fat instead of healthier oils. A small consumption of oil, such as those found in fried foods, can benefit overall health by making it easier for the body to absorb vitamins and boost the body’s metabolism.

(via LiveScience)

With Easter just around the corner, supermarkets and drug stores are stocking up on pastel-colored goodies to satisfy any kind of sweet tooth. Instead of indulging in sticky marshmallow rabbits or handfuls of colorful Jordan almonds, consider sinking your teeth into a hearty piece of dark chocolate that not only tastes good, but also has many health benefits for the mind and body.
1. Heart health
Why not have your chocolate and eat it too? According to studies from the Top Institute Food and Nutrition and the Division of Human Nutrition in the Netherlands, moderate consumption of dark chocolate contributes to an overall healthier heart. This is done through maintaining healthy arteries, minimizing risk for strokes and reducing inflammation of cardiovascular tissue. Additionally, dark chocolate also improves blood flow, helping to prevent blood clot formations.
(via New York Daily News)
2. Antioxidants and Prebiotics
Cocoa powder, one of the main ingredients in dark chocolate, is comprised of antioxidant compounds and dietary fiber, which help fight diseases and maintain healthy skin. In addition, the same prebiotics found in whole-wheat flower, dark chocolate and raw garlic are beneficial for stomach bacteria in the digestive track. After consuming prebiotics, the good stomach bacteria increases to out-compete the bad stomach bacteria that could otherwise cause digestive problems. Combine fruits high in antioxidants, such as pomegranates and acai berries, with dark chocolate for an easy-to-make snack.
(via New York Daily News)
3. Weight loss In moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Since it is more filling than milk or white chocolate, it relieves cravings for salty or sweet foods with less calories. Limit consumption of dark chocolate to lessen cravings for other unhealthy foods and maintain a healthy diet.
(via Women’s Health Magazine)
4. Diabetes prevention Something that may seem harmful to a diabetes condition can actually have positive benefits in the long run. When eaten in moderation, a small dose of dark chocolate can help reduce your insulin resistance by almost half and even control insulin sensitivity.
(via Women’s Health Magazine)
5. Reduce stress We’ve all done it. Whether it’s eating fast food one too many times per week or consuming an enormous amount of chips during finals, stress eating is a habit many have indulged in at some point in their life. Instead of another pint of ice cream, relieve the cravings with small pieces of dark chocolate. Not only will your cravings be satisfied, but those feelings of anxiety and stress will be greatly reduced. Dark chocolate releases chemicals that speed up the metabolism and reduce stress hormone levels, leaving you feeling more relaxed and happy.
(via Women’s Health Magazine)
6. Skin health
Dark chocolate can play a part in keeping skin healthy for the summer months ahead. The high levels of sun-protecting flavanols found in dark chocolate can protect against harmful rays and prevent skin from developing the early telltale signs of sunburn. Subjects who consumed dark chocolate regularly took twice as long to become red, reducing their chances of skin damage.
(via Women’s Health Magazine)
7. Cough relief
The next time you develop a pesky cough, eat some chocolate to relieve the irritation. Chemicals found in dark chocolate may have the same effects as cough relief medications like codeine, because of the soothing effects and suppression of activity in the vagus nerve. This nerve is responsible for controlling many of the body’s involuntary reflex responses. A bit of dark chocolate is a great natural remedy to calm your throat without the negative effects and drowsiness of cough medicine.
(via Women’s Health Magazine)
8. Vitamins and minerals
Instead of just taking vitamins, supplement them with a piece of dark chocolate. A number of vitamins and minerals found in this treat can contribute to a healthier body because of their beneficial properties. These include potassium, copper, magnesium and iron, which protect against iron deficiency, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart disease.
(via FitDay)
9. Brain health During those late-night study sessions, break out a piece of dark chocolate instead of a cup of coffee. Eating dark chocolate has been shown to improve brain function by increasing circulation to the brain, maximizing short-term memory and overall cognitive function. In addition, the caffeine boost from chocolate is less invasive than the jolting affects of coffee, allowing for a sound night of sleep even after a heavy dose of dark chocolate. (via Daisy Brains)
10. Happiness
There is a reason chocolate is associated with romance — consuming dark chocolate releases endorphins, chemicals responsible for the feeling of pleasure that can mimic the first feelings of falling in love. Increased levels of serotonin are also linked with dark chocolate, which act as an antidepressant and cannot help but make an individual feel just a little bit happier.
(via Reader’s Digest)

With Easter just around the corner, supermarkets and drug stores are stocking up on pastel-colored goodies to satisfy any kind of sweet tooth. Instead of indulging in sticky marshmallow rabbits or handfuls of colorful Jordan almonds, consider sinking your teeth into a hearty piece of dark chocolate that not only tastes good, but also has many health benefits for the mind and body.

1. Heart health

Why not have your chocolate and eat it too? According to studies from the Top Institute Food and Nutrition and the Division of Human Nutrition in the Netherlands, moderate consumption of dark chocolate contributes to an overall healthier heart. This is done through maintaining healthy arteries, minimizing risk for strokes and reducing inflammation of cardiovascular tissue. Additionally, dark chocolate also improves blood flow, helping to prevent blood clot formations.

(via New York Daily News)

2. Antioxidants and Prebiotics

Cocoa powder, one of the main ingredients in dark chocolate, is comprised of antioxidant compounds and dietary fiber, which help fight diseases and maintain healthy skin. In addition, the same prebiotics found in whole-wheat flower, dark chocolate and raw garlic are beneficial for stomach bacteria in the digestive track. After consuming prebiotics, the good stomach bacteria increases to out-compete the bad stomach bacteria that could otherwise cause digestive problems. Combine fruits high in antioxidants, such as pomegranates and acai berries, with dark chocolate for an easy-to-make snack.

(via New York Daily News)

3. Weight loss In moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Since it is more filling than milk or white chocolate, it relieves cravings for salty or sweet foods with less calories. Limit consumption of dark chocolate to lessen cravings for other unhealthy foods and maintain a healthy diet.

(via Women’s Health Magazine)

4. Diabetes prevention Something that may seem harmful to a diabetes condition can actually have positive benefits in the long run. When eaten in moderation, a small dose of dark chocolate can help reduce your insulin resistance by almost half and even control insulin sensitivity.

(via Women’s Health Magazine)

5. Reduce stress We’ve all done it. Whether it’s eating fast food one too many times per week or consuming an enormous amount of chips during finals, stress eating is a habit many have indulged in at some point in their life. Instead of another pint of ice cream, relieve the cravings with small pieces of dark chocolate. Not only will your cravings be satisfied, but those feelings of anxiety and stress will be greatly reduced. Dark chocolate releases chemicals that speed up the metabolism and reduce stress hormone levels, leaving you feeling more relaxed and happy.

(via Women’s Health Magazine)

6. Skin health

Dark chocolate can play a part in keeping skin healthy for the summer months ahead. The high levels of sun-protecting flavanols found in dark chocolate can protect against harmful rays and prevent skin from developing the early telltale signs of sunburn. Subjects who consumed dark chocolate regularly took twice as long to become red, reducing their chances of skin damage.

(via Women’s Health Magazine)

7. Cough relief

The next time you develop a pesky cough, eat some chocolate to relieve the irritation. Chemicals found in dark chocolate may have the same effects as cough relief medications like codeine, because of the soothing effects and suppression of activity in the vagus nerve. This nerve is responsible for controlling many of the body’s involuntary reflex responses. A bit of dark chocolate is a great natural remedy to calm your throat without the negative effects and drowsiness of cough medicine.

(via Women’s Health Magazine)

8. Vitamins and minerals

Instead of just taking vitamins, supplement them with a piece of dark chocolate. A number of vitamins and minerals found in this treat can contribute to a healthier body because of their beneficial properties. These include potassium, copper, magnesium and iron, which protect against iron deficiency, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart disease.

(via FitDay)

9. Brain health During those late-night study sessions, break out a piece of dark chocolate instead of a cup of coffee. Eating dark chocolate has been shown to improve brain function by increasing circulation to the brain, maximizing short-term memory and overall cognitive function. In addition, the caffeine boost from chocolate is less invasive than the jolting affects of coffee, allowing for a sound night of sleep even after a heavy dose of dark chocolate. (via Daisy Brains)

10. Happiness

There is a reason chocolate is associated with romance — consuming dark chocolate releases endorphins, chemicals responsible for the feeling of pleasure that can mimic the first feelings of falling in love. Increased levels of serotonin are also linked with dark chocolate, which act as an antidepressant and cannot help but make an individual feel just a little bit happier.

(via Reader’s Digest)

With every new quarter comes the resolutions to work out and eat healthier. Instead of struggling through the usual routines and feeling uninspired by the food options, consider introducing coconut oil as a healthy supplement.
Originally from tropical regions such as India, Thailand and the Philippines, coconut oil has been used for centuries as a natural supplement for healthier diets.
Because of its high anti-fungal, antioxidant and antibacterial qualities, coconut oil has many benefits, including stress relief, regulating metabolism, boosting the immune system, weight loss, lowering blood pressure and improving dental, hair and skin health.
Despite being falsely regarded as unhealthy because of its high-saturated fat content, coconut oil has become a widely accepted household ingredient that also adds a great tropical flavor. Here are some healthy food and general options to incorporate coconut oil.
1. Toast: For those with easy access to a toaster and a regular habit of eating breakfast, substitute butter with a light coating of coconut oil for a healthier choice with a slice of whole wheat or rye bread.
(via swansonvitamins.com)
2. Coconut oil-infused hazelnut spread: Dress up a bland slice of toast with homemade coconut oil-infused hazelnut spread for another tasty and healthy breakfast option. Combine roasted hazelnuts, melted chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, coconut oil and salt in a blender until smooth for a delicious and homemade breakfast option. Add a layer of fresh strawberries if desired.
(via thestir.cafemom.com)
3. Popcorn: Considered a staple in any college student’s diet, popcorn can be easily transformed into a healthier snack by using coconut oil instead of butter. Add coconut oil and popcorn to a pot, making sure to have only a single layer of kernels on the bottom of the pan. Over medium heat for five minutes, let the kernels heat up and pop on top of the stove. Similarly, coat already popped popcorn with a little bit of melted coconut oil and top with crushed sea salt.
(via bewellwitharielle.com)
4. Grilled cheese: Another popular meal item that is easy to prepare on a college budget, can also be improved by toasting the bread in coconut oil instead of butter. After coating the bottom of the pan with coconut oil, place the bread on the pan and grill until brown, making sure to evenly toast both sides. This can even be done in the microwave for a quick snack.
(via swansonvitamins.com)
5. Chocolate chip cookies: This ever-popular snack can be improved by simply using coconut oil instead of butter or vegetable oil for a mild tropical flavor. Even though coconut oil does not have the same amount of fat as butter, it can still be used in recipes with a 1:1 ratio of butter to coconut oil.
(via thestir.cafemom.com)
6. Smoothies: It only takes a handful of fruit, a dash of coconut oil and a cup of milk to make a delicious smoothie. Choosing fruits high in antioxidants provides more nutrition to the smoothie, on top of the soothing properties of coconut oil. Because of the healthy fats found in coconut oil, it increases the amount of vitamins and nutrients absorbed by the body and tastes great too.
(via food.allwomenstalk.com)
7. Coffee and tea: For those with little appetite at all in the mornings, coconut oil can be added to morning coffee and tea for an added energy boost. Melting just a spoonful of coconut oil in a cup of hot tea or coffee is a great way to add a little flavor to a morning routine. When taken regularly, coconut oil can even help improve sleep.
(via thestir.cafemom.com)
8. Eggs: For a great way to start your morning, fry up some eggs with this unique twist. Instead of using cooking oil, pour a light layer of coconut oil on the bottom of the frying pan for some delicious fried eggs. Season with sea salt and crushed pepper for more flavor.
(via swansonvitamins.com)
9. Grooming: On top of being an excellent health supplement for many easy-to-make foods, coconut oil can also be added to a personal grooming routine. Since a lot of makeup is not water soluble, any kind of oil is ideal to clean off any makeup left over from the day’s adventures. Healthier eyelashes are also an added bonus when using coconut oil as a makeup remover.
(via swansonvitamins.com)
10. Tanning and skin use: With the days getting longer and beautiful weather gracing the Central Coast, more effort will be put into tanning as students prepare for the summer months ahead. Using an even mixture of sunblock and pure coconut oil is a simple, organic way of tanning at the beach while keeping skin moisturized. For minor scrapes and cuts, coconut oil can also be used topically to quicken the healing process.
(via swansonvitamins.com)

With every new quarter comes the resolutions to work out and eat healthier. Instead of struggling through the usual routines and feeling uninspired by the food options, consider introducing coconut oil as a healthy supplement.

Originally from tropical regions such as India, Thailand and the Philippines, coconut oil has been used for centuries as a natural supplement for healthier diets.

Because of its high anti-fungal, antioxidant and antibacterial qualities, coconut oil has many benefits, including stress relief, regulating metabolism, boosting the immune system, weight loss, lowering blood pressure and improving dental, hair and skin health.

Despite being falsely regarded as unhealthy because of its high-saturated fat content, coconut oil has become a widely accepted household ingredient that also adds a great tropical flavor. Here are some healthy food and general options to incorporate coconut oil.

1. Toast: For those with easy access to a toaster and a regular habit of eating breakfast, substitute butter with a light coating of coconut oil for a healthier choice with a slice of whole wheat or rye bread.

(via swansonvitamins.com)

2. Coconut oil-infused hazelnut spread: Dress up a bland slice of toast with homemade coconut oil-infused hazelnut spread for another tasty and healthy breakfast option. Combine roasted hazelnuts, melted chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, coconut oil and salt in a blender until smooth for a delicious and homemade breakfast option. Add a layer of fresh strawberries if desired.

(via thestir.cafemom.com)

3. Popcorn: Considered a staple in any college student’s diet, popcorn can be easily transformed into a healthier snack by using coconut oil instead of butter. Add coconut oil and popcorn to a pot, making sure to have only a single layer of kernels on the bottom of the pan. Over medium heat for five minutes, let the kernels heat up and pop on top of the stove. Similarly, coat already popped popcorn with a little bit of melted coconut oil and top with crushed sea salt.

(via bewellwitharielle.com)

4. Grilled cheese: Another popular meal item that is easy to prepare on a college budget, can also be improved by toasting the bread in coconut oil instead of butter. After coating the bottom of the pan with coconut oil, place the bread on the pan and grill until brown, making sure to evenly toast both sides. This can even be done in the microwave for a quick snack.

(via swansonvitamins.com)

5. Chocolate chip cookies: This ever-popular snack can be improved by simply using coconut oil instead of butter or vegetable oil for a mild tropical flavor. Even though coconut oil does not have the same amount of fat as butter, it can still be used in recipes with a 1:1 ratio of butter to coconut oil.

(via thestir.cafemom.com)

6. Smoothies: It only takes a handful of fruit, a dash of coconut oil and a cup of milk to make a delicious smoothie. Choosing fruits high in antioxidants provides more nutrition to the smoothie, on top of the soothing properties of coconut oil. Because of the healthy fats found in coconut oil, it increases the amount of vitamins and nutrients absorbed by the body and tastes great too.

(via food.allwomenstalk.com)

7. Coffee and tea: For those with little appetite at all in the mornings, coconut oil can be added to morning coffee and tea for an added energy boost. Melting just a spoonful of coconut oil in a cup of hot tea or coffee is a great way to add a little flavor to a morning routine. When taken regularly, coconut oil can even help improve sleep.

(via thestir.cafemom.com)

8. Eggs: For a great way to start your morning, fry up some eggs with this unique twist. Instead of using cooking oil, pour a light layer of coconut oil on the bottom of the frying pan for some delicious fried eggs. Season with sea salt and crushed pepper for more flavor.

(via swansonvitamins.com)

9. Grooming: On top of being an excellent health supplement for many easy-to-make foods, coconut oil can also be added to a personal grooming routine. Since a lot of makeup is not water soluble, any kind of oil is ideal to clean off any makeup left over from the day’s adventures. Healthier eyelashes are also an added bonus when using coconut oil as a makeup remover.

(via swansonvitamins.com)

10. Tanning and skin use: With the days getting longer and beautiful weather gracing the Central Coast, more effort will be put into tanning as students prepare for the summer months ahead. Using an even mixture of sunblock and pure coconut oil is a simple, organic way of tanning at the beach while keeping skin moisturized. For minor scrapes and cuts, coconut oil can also be used topically to quicken the healing process.

(via swansonvitamins.com)