Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Great Summer Salad Recipe

In these days of over 100 degree temperatures, turning on the oven or even the stove does not seem like a good idea. To keep cool, I've been eating fresh fruit for breakfast and packing simple salads for lunch. Just a little cutting and I'm ready to go. These are some of the simplest and most satisfying meals and are highly nutritious without being heavy. It's essential when it's too hot to eat much that what we put into our bodies provides us with the fuel and nutrients we need. Try this simple bean salad or make yourself a green salad with your other favorite vegetables to keep yourself cool.

Simple Bean Salad
1 can organic garbanzo beans
1 can organic dark red kidney beans
1-2 organic cucumbers
1 pint organic cherry or grape tomatoes
2-3 tbsp mild rice vinegar
1-2 tbsp your choice of fresh herbs, minced (optional) - I like mint, parsley, chives or cilantro for a fresh taste!
1-2 tbsp your choice of seeds (optional) - My favorite are small seeds like white or black sesame or hemp seeds.

Drain and rinse both types of beans. With the skin on, chop the cucumber into small pieces. In this salad, I don't find the skin to be problematic, but if you hate the skin, try peeling only 1/2 the cucumber and leaving the skin on 1/2 to keep some of the valuable nutrients in the skin. Cut tomatoes in halves. Add beans, tomatoes and cucumber to large mixing bowl. Add rice vinegar, optional herbs and seeds and mix. Enjoy!

A few other tips for dealing with heat:
  • Drink plenty of water, but remember to drink some fluids with electrolytes as well. Small amounts of Emergen-C, Vitamin Water, Gatoraid or similar products can help keep your electrolytes balanced if you are sweating a lot in the heat.
  • While keeping cool, remember not to over-air condition your home, car or office. Adapting from ambient temperatures in the 60's to the 100's can be difficult for your body to adjust to.
  • Be cautious with air conditioning if you tend towards sinus infections. A/C can dry out your sinuses and cause an increase in symptoms.
  • Additionally, try not have fans blowing on the back of your neck, especially while you are sleeping. Many acupuncture points on the back of your neck are known as "wind points" and intense wind exposure at these points can lead to symptoms of common cold.

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