How to Host a Springtime BBQ

When the weather gets warmer, spring and summer can be such wonderful times to enjoy. You can get outside late into the evenings, dining al fresco, and get the grill going for BBQs in the sunshine. If you want to host the best BBQ with friends, then here are some tips to make sure that you are the hostess with the mostess.

Prep food before your guests arrive

When guests know they are coming to something that involves food, they are going to come hungry. Most of these BBQ tips can come from people correcting their mistakes, and one of them is not having food prepared before guests arrive. You want to have salads ready to service and meat marinated and chopped ready to go on the frill. Then you can get down to the main event of eating, sooner rather than later. So give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead and get everything ready, and it will make you feel much less stressed too.

All the condiments

When it comes to a BBQ, you can’t go too far wrong by getting all of the condiments for the group. This can involve getting the best BBQ sauce for wings, dressings for salads, salt and pepper, and other condiments that will suit, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. There will be something that everyone likes and they’ll help to make their dishes much more appealing.

Decorate outside

Decorating outside is something that takes the BBQ to a party, rather than just any other day out in the yard. You could decorate with things like lanterns and balloons, as well as decorating with lights and bunting. Making sure that there is enough lighting out there is a good idea. Getting tableware, along with things like tablecloths, will help to bring it in altogether and make the party look great.

Drinks

The fun of a BBQ is having fun drinks and staying out until it starts to get dark. You could get a cooler for drinks, or just get a stylish bucket filled with ice, where drinks can be stored to keep them cool. You could also line up some Kilner jar glass drinks dispensers for people to help themselves to, and they look super cute too. If people are bringing children, then this can be a neat idea as you can have soft drinks and water for little ones who can then help themselves.

Games and entertainment

The main event may be the food, and you and your friends may prefer to eat, drink, and talk at the table, late into the evening. If it is more of a family affair, you want to get up and move with your guests, then think about what kind of entertainment you could have. It might be that just putting on a playlist for people to dance to is enough, but you could get some backyard games for people to play, from badminton to Twister, or Cornhole. Think about what would be fun for your guests, and then you can plan accordingly. 

4 Easy Health Hacks to Feel Better Every Day 

We often feel it’ll require so much time, money, and effort to improve our health, well-being, and lifestyle. However, it’s more attainable than we think. With a few simple lifestyle tweaks and adding new habits to your daily routine, you can turn your life around just like magically snapping your fingers and waking up with a smile. Statistics have suggested that over 40 million adults in the US are dealing with some form of health or anxiety disorder, yet the pandemic could worsen the situation. I for one suffer from anxiety, so I try my best to make simple tweaks to feel better daily. Here are some tips that can help keep you healthy and feeling great!

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
The need for regular adequate sleep every night cannot be overemphasized. According to the National Sleep Foundation, having a decent amount of restful sleep from anywhere between seven to nine hours each night can sharpen your brain, improve your mood and peak your energy levels. Additionally, having a good rest reduces your insulin level and decreases your stress rate, leaving you with glowing and radiant skin. If you find yourself sleeping less or having trouble getting enough sleep, you may reach out to the doctor or try the tips below;

 

 

  • Create a sleep schedule and stick to it
  • Consider what you eat or drink before heading for bed
  • Create an atmosphere ideal for sleeping 
  • Limit your daytime naps. 

Consume more vegetables
A recent study has proposed a new way to gain more from your food nutrients without the need to put in extra effort; consume your veggies raw. Nutritionists have indicated that some vitamins and minerals are lost during cooking, making an excellent case to consume your veggies when they’re not yet cooked if you can. Meanwhile, some researchers have suggested that consuming vegetables in their natural state can help manage depression. While this isn’t for everybody, there are other ways you can eat your veggies. Why not check out this delicious garlic dip and sauce to take your meal to the next level?

 

 

Burn calories with regular physical activity
The rich benefits of regular physical activity are enormous; from muscle gain and fat burn, the perks of regular exercising goes beyond just the physical benefits. As proposed by the American psychological association, regular exercise effectively boosts your mood, and it has demonstrated a useful technique for managing anxiety, stress, and depression. Aside from its short-term effects, working out has long term effects of leaving you feeling good over an extended period. You can begin with working out 15 minutes every day and just three times each week. 

 

 

Have a positive outlook
After everything happening currently, from job losses, social distancing, and lack of outdoor activity, it may be challenging to keep positive over an extended period with the impending second wave of COVID-19 infection. However, psychologists have advised writing down three positives from every day and how it made you feel. No matter how small they are, write them down. This means you’ll have something positive to feel good about despite everything else that happens during the day. 

 

 

Are you looking to live a healthier, better long life? Then these simple tips, diets, and lifestyle adjustment should get you started.

 

Why You Should Eat More Vegetables

It’s 2021, and let’s be real 2020 was a real doozy. When the new year starts everyone tries to eat healthy, get fit, lose some weight etc. I’ve personally been doing a paleo/whole 30 mix to try to shed a few pounds and get healthier. (*note I know Whole 30 is meant to be for 30 days but I’m just taking a few of the rules and applying them to my life to make it less restrictive so don’t come at me lol)

One of the main things I’ve been doing is adding more vegetables to my meals. Did you know that a vegan diet can help you lose weight? By swapping out unhealthy foods for vegan-friendly or vegetarian meals, you can lower your calorie consumption which is fantastic if you’re looking to lose weight. Vegetables are so low calorie and very nutrient dense. You can eat a lot more vegetables than you can say carbs and still feel full. 

Not only is eating more vegetables good for your body but it’s good for the earth. A plant based diet can help keep the soil clean, conserve water around the world and also cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Diets always seem so restrictive but when you look at it in a different lens you can be more creative. You can try out the best sauteed kale recipes, vegan meat substitutes, and try making your own creations (I highly recommend Pinterest!) They’re healthy, they taste great, and they’ll teach you about unique food combinations that will enhance your cooking.

There are lots of unique breakfast and lunch ideas for a plant based diet that differ drastically from typical diets. There are also thousands of unique dinner recipes that you can try if you want some variety. If you want to add more vegetables into your daily routine, it really starts one meal at a time. 

The Latest Food & Drink Trends – 2020 Edition

Whether you can get out and about, or you have to sample the newest food and drink trends at home, 2020 has undoubtedly been an interesting time. Fortunately, you can check out some of the best food and beverage trends this year has to offer below. Let us know what you think about them! 

Pour over coffee

While there has previously been a great deal of excitement about new-fangled machines that produce the perfect cup of java, both in coffee shops and in the home, the current trend is a little more straightforward. 

Yes, that’s right people are once again embracing pour over coffee. That is coffee made from hot water directly poured over ground beans. The good news is that this type of coffee is not only delicious but super simple to make with either a filter, percolator or french press. 

Of course, taking some time to investigate The Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over will help you make sure that your brew rivals the stuff you will find in your local shop. You may wish to experiment with filters, French press, and different kinds of percolators, too, to see which one suits your taste the best. 

American Brunch 

Stacks of fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup and butter, crispy bacon, and flat sausage patties, along with eggs sunny side up, scrambled, or over easy are a major culinary trend right now. 

Yes, that right, American breakfast or brunch is giving The Full English with its fried bread and black pudding a run for its money, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, while the English fry up is an all savory affair, the combination of sweet and salty flavours in its American counterpart make it almost irresistible, especially if you are nursing a hangover from the night before. 

In fact, American brunch is so popular right now that retro-styled diners are popping up all around the UK solely dedicated to the cuisine. The good news is that if you can’t get out and about right now, you can easily whip up your own version.

Sourdough, everything 

Mainly due to the extra time that many of us have on our hands, one of the biggest trends of 2020 has been baking our own bread, Namely sourdough bread. In fact, at the beginning of lockdown, you couldn’t get a bread-making kit for love nor money, they were so popular. 

Of course, the aromatic smell of a baking sourdough combined with the dense bread and chewy crust is truly irresistible and isn’t so hard to DIY either. First of all, you will need to create your own starter and then feed it every few days. Don’t forget to name it suitability either; Clint Yeastwood, the favourite moniker I have come across so far! 

Once you have your starter established, you can then use it as the base of your bread. Although, you can also whip up donuts, pittas, muffins, pretzels, and just about any other baked goods with a delicious sourdough twist. 

 

This post is a collaborative post.

5 Foods for Glowing Skin

Regardless of how dedicated you’re to your skincare routine, clear, glowing, and healthy skin begins from within. This means taking the right foods. Fortunately, there are a variety of foods that can help improve the health of your skin. Ideally, you need to focus on foods with specific nutrients that will protect, moisturize, and also heal your skin. From minimizing the fine lines and staying hydrated to banishing the pesky adult breakouts, the secret to maintaining a supple and healthy skin is changing your diet. Read through to find out some of the best foods that will help your skin.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which have numerous benefits to your body, including improving the health of your skin. Your body needs enough of these fats to help keep your skin moisturized and flexible. In a recent study by Healthline, it was discovered that women who take healthy avocado fats had more supple skin. Also, avocados contain compounds that can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays that cause wrinkles.

Avocados are a good source of vitamin E, which is more effective in protecting your skin when combined with vitamin C. Avocados also contain vitamin C, which helps your skin create collagen, a protein that keeps your skin healthy and strong. Additionally, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage, which causes signs of aging.

Citrus fruits

As you now know, vitamin C is important to your skin. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits contain vitamin C, which can give your skin a radiant glow. In fact, citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C. According to CNN, people who consume high amounts of citrus have fewer wrinkles.

Fatty fish

Some of the common fatty fish include herring, salmon, and mackerel, which can help keep your skin supple and healthy. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping your skin healthy. The omega-3 fatty acids keep the skin thick and well-moisturized. What’s more, oily fish reduce inflammation, which is the main cause of acne and skin redness.

Get the best sushi knives to help extract fish oil from fatty fish. According to NCBI, fish oil helps fight autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that may be affecting your skin, such as lupus and psoriasis. Fatty fish is also rich in vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant. Vitamin E is also vital in protecting your skin against damage caused by free radicals.

Carrots

Carrots are crunchy and rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an essential role in cellular collagen production to help protect and heal damaged skin.

Tomatoes

Cooked tomatoes are considered as the fountain of youth. They contain high amounts of the antioxidant lycopene, which is important in your body to fight against damage to your skin by harmful UV rays.

While maintaining a skincare routine is important, you will also need nutritious foods to improve your skin health. An unhealthy diet will cause weight gain, damage your metabolism, and damage organs like the liver and skin. Therefore, take the first step to protect your skin by eating the best foods. Also, remember to keep your skin hydrated by drinking enough water.

 

Why Smoothies Are The Best for Busy Days

Are you a smoothie lover like me? Smoothies are so great for a variety of reasons. The first is, obviously, how healthy they are. You would never sit down to eat five apples, two bananas, and a bag of kale in one sitting. But when you can drink all those goodies in the form of a slightly sweet beverage, it suddenly becomes way more doable. People rely on smoothies for their dietary five-a-day. 

The second reason is convenience. When people want something nutritious in the morning before work, they don’t want to spend their precious time in front of the oven. Instead, they want to whip up something quick. Smoothies are the ideal food in this regard. You place the ingredients in the blender and there you go.

Another reason for their success is the fact that smoothies are highly Instagrammable. You don’t even need to be a particularly good photographer to share your creations. Their vibrant colors do most of the work for you. Smoothies, though, are more than just a passing trend. Here are some of the reasons they could be your ticket to a yummier you. 

They Release Nutrients

Getting all of the nutrients out of a bunch of kale is difficult for your body. First, it has to separate it into manageable chunks. Then it has to break down the cell wall to get hold of the goodies inside. Cooking makes this process slightly easier, but nothing quite compares it smashing it to bits in a blender. Speaking of which, we really like this Vitamix that is reviewed here. High power gives it extra clout. 

As the blades spin, they chop through the cell walls, allowing all of the plant’s nutritious contents to gush out in an orgy of goodness. More of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals get into your body, helping to support your health. 

They Change Your Taste Buds

When you first start off, you might start with an all fruit smoothie. These are typically the most popular and tastes the best because of the sugar in the fruit. As you start having smoothies more often, you might want to start adding in more green veggies. I love adding in spinach, kale, cucumbers, ginger and carrots.

The change in your tastebuds is just a natural process. Your brain gets used to all the weird chemicals that give plants their flavor and eventually starts to enjoy them. Drinking a smoothie feels less like taking medicine and more like sipping on a cocktail by the pool by week ten. 

They Increase Your Energy

Finally, smoothies make you feel more energetic for the whole day. When you give your body the nutrition it wants, you feel your best, and therefore, are your best. 

What is your favorite smoothie flavors? Let me know in the comments below!

4 Benefits of Going Gluten-Free

If you’ve ever thought about embracing a gluten-free diet, there are compelling reasons to do so. I haven’t fully changed my diet into being completely gluten-free but it’s something I try to be mindful of. The health-related benefits below are ones you might not have thought of before. Let’s start by defining gluten and then move onto the perks of doing so.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general term for a group of proteins that are found in a variety of cereal grains. It occurs naturally in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.

What is its purpose? The primary function of gluten is to hold foods together, so they keep their shape.

Here are some benefits of going gluten-free.

Eat more fruits and veggies.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. As you’re not able to eat certain foods now that you’re on this new eating plan, you’re more likely to reach for those healthy foods.

That’s good news given the many vitamins and minerals in them. They contain nutrients to help you stay healthy. For example, kale and carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, while strawberries and papayas are high in vitamin C. Apples and bananas are great sources of iron.

You might exercise more.

When switching to a gluten-free diet, you might notice a dip in your energy levels, which is why it’s important to eat right and exercise regularly. Doing so will help you to feel at your best at work and in your personal life.

If you needed incentive to workout more, then this is it. You’ll be more likely to do so now and staying active is easier when you choose an activity that you enjoy, whether it is walking, swimming, or something else.

Knowledge is power.

You have knowledge of what foods can negatively impact your health when you enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle. Before buying items, you’ll be looking at food labels and understanding how to read them, including how ingredient lists start with the most prominent item first.

Some items that you will discover may contain gluten will surprise you. For example, seasonings, sauces, and malted milk can all be sources of gluten.

Delicious food awaits you.

You will also soon realize that there are great gluten free recipes. Cooking yummy meals is not something you have to give up forever! Instead, you will understand how to enhance natural flavors using gluten-free spices to make tasty dishes.

Experimenting in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. You can even pick up soy flour to bread your chicken for dinner tonight.

Have you guys ever tried going gluten-free? If so, I would love to hear your experience in the comments below!

How to Diet Without Losing Flavor

2020 hasn’t been our year. You woke up on January 1st and thought that this year would be the one where you would finally go on a diet, hit the gym and change all the things you have wanted to. The trouble is, if you are like 90% of the world, by January 2nd you quite possibly found yourself on Seamless taking advantage of some sort of discount. 

Well, what if finally, somebody levelled with you and told you that if you really do want to hit that diet, it doesn’t have to be as boring as most people on Facebook would have you believe. While you may have a vision in your head that dieting equals lots of salad or some crazy fad that some insane person has created, that is not the case.

As you may have guessed, all these fads and advertisements you see on Facebook and Instagram are nonsense, in truth, losing weight can be easy. So, let’s take a look at how you can lose weight the easy way without having to sacrifice flavor and all the things that you love.

Calories In vs. Calories Out

Ok, so let’s start with the basics, if you want to lose weight, it’s all about moderation and being sensible.

The thing about losing weight is, it’s all about science. Many people count calories but don’t understand why so here’s the gist of things. Your body needs a standard amount of calories per day to function; if you have surplus calories, you gain weight; if you have a caloric deficit, you lose weight. Caloric deficit simply works by the body breaking down the fat cells when it runs out of calories, and then you lose weight.

So, if you want to lose weight, simply cut the calories. If you want to feel healthier, cut the calories, the fat and some sugars and you are well on your way.

Get Creative

Now we know that you can pretty much eat anything when dieting, you just need to exercise your creative bones in the kitchen.

If you want pizza, change the base to a flatbread, if you fancy a snack with tons of flavor, why not check out something like this baba ganoush from ToriAvey.comIf you want chocolate, have a piece of chocolate. If you want some delicious curry, have the curry. You simply have to remember that it’s a matter of not overindulging and counting your calories on one of many apps. Doing this will allow you to monitor your caloric deficit and set yourself goals.

In truth, dieting is a lot easier than the media would have you believe, this is simply due to the fact that people want to make money from your needs. 

Hopefully, this post has armed you with some handy information that can help you should you want to start a weight loss journey and not have to sacrifice flavor along the way.

 

Step Up Your Food Game

Okay, if you haven’t gathered from the title of my blog, I love food. It not only serves as a beautiful means of turning ingredients into works of art, but it’s also a craft, a social experience, and an act of love to serve someone. However, for those who truly do adore the entire experience of eating and appreciating good food, ingratiating yourself in foodie culture can also be a great way to connect with your passion.

Connecting with food outside being a seasoned eater can help you learn more about the art and practice, and it can also educate you to no small degree. For instance, if you enjoy steaks and eating high-grade beef, learning about the maintenance, rearing and care practices of Wagyu cows can be a fantastic idea. It textures our knowledge that little bit more, and we can therefore pass on our knowledge. But how else might you connect with food outside of eating it? Here are some ways you can step up your food knowledge.

Read Up On Food History

Read up on food history. From shows such as A Taste of History or reading into a particular ingredient or foodstuff, such as the first creation of sandwiches or the true societal-shifting implications of hunting down salt, the more you understand about how culture has developed the more you can gain an appreciation for it. Additionally, you will also find yourself appreciating other cultures more, as no one society, civilization or race of people has ever had a monopoly on fantastic food. For this reason, the act of learning allows us to appreciate our mealtimes more.

Visit Food Destinations

Visiting authentic locations can be a fantastic means of exploring your gastronomic interest. For instance, heading to Marseilles can help you eat at the restaurants prized among the culinary world, with legendary chefs that are still serving incredible food to this day. Appreciation is the name of the game here, and you’re sure to appreciate such a wonderful display of worth in more ways than one here. It’s even better if you can share this journey with those you most love, as the act of sharing a meal in a social setting is perhaps the only exception to the phrase ‘hunger is the best sauce’.

Source Incredible, Quality Treats

It’s important to treat yourself, and that means going for the best of the best when it comes to a certain foodstuff or ingredient. Sure, you may enjoy eating crab, but have you ever ate crab freshly picked and cooked from the ocean that morning in New England? Sure, you may enjoy pretzels, but have you tried the best pretzels from esprovisions.com?

The more we can try the best of the best, the more we’ll be able to distinguish quality from quantity, and good preparation techniques from the ineffective. That’s a vital skill to have.

Where to Eat in London

Last month, I went to London for the first time with my friends Amy and Vinny. It was a super quick trip. We took the red eye Wednesday night and came back Sunday. I honestly wish I could have stayed longer because I absolutely fell IN LOVE with London. I’m already plotting my next trip back. Before I went, everyone kept telling me that the food in London was not good. So I went in with low expectations. My expectations were wildly wrong because I found some AMAZING food spots in London that I want to share with you. These were my favorites from the trip – ones I would not only highly recommend but would go back again.

Sketch – Go to Sketch for Afternoon Tea. Sure, it’s pretty pricey but you get unlimited tea and refills on the sandwiches and treats. The decor at Sketch was honestly probably one of the best decorated restaurants I had ever been to. It was cool, sophisticated and so instagrammable.

Dishoom – London is well known for it’s Indian food and Dishoom is one of their popular spots. I’m a huge fan of Indian food but I find it not as popular here in the states. I was excited to go to Dishoom and see what all the hype was about. It did not disappoint. The food was so incredibly good. We tried to go again another night but the wait was too long. I would highly recommend making reservations for this place or you might end up waiting upwards of two hours.

Chiltern Firehouse – Shoutout to Jackie Schimmel of the Bitch Bible for talking about Chiltern Firehouse on her podcast. If it’s good enough for Jackie, it’s good enough for me. We went here for brunch. I obviously had to get the avocado toast (which not going to lie, I didn’t think looked very appetizing) but boy was I wrong. This was absolutely delish! Chiltern is a little on the pricey side but if you’re looking for a nice brunch or dinner option I would highly recommend.

Breakfast Club – This is a The Girls Who Brunch after all so I had to add some of my favorite brunch spots. Breakfast Club is a great little diner-esque spot that has an amazingly delicious brunch. Be prepared to wait on line because it’s a popular spot.

Granger & Co. – The cutest little spot in Notting Hill. I mean look at all these amazing drinks. From the coffee to the blood mary – this was a great place for brunch. I got the pancakes – which I would say I normally don’t ever order but they were delectable!

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to London. I will definitely be making another trip (hopefully soon!). If you have ever been to London, let me know your favorite spots to eat so I can add them for my next trip!