The month of August has hit Philly like a storm, bringing with it memories of dear old Penn, as many students finish their internships and classes. As the start of the school year rapidly approaches, one concern I have is the inability to maintain a healthy lifestyle with the addition of school work, club commitments, and social functions. It’s so easy for me to pick up meals on the go rather than think of new recipes to try back at my apartment. Lucky for you readers, I’ve stumbled upon three amazing blogs that offer easy, healthy, and affordable meal options. These writers have vast amounts of knowledge to offer on all things food and use fresh produce to concoct all of their creations, providing their readers healthy and quick alternatives to try.
Lisa Leake, mother of 2, originally started this blog when she decided to challenge herself by cutting out all processed foods from the meals she prepared for her family. They began by pledging to go 100 days without any processed or refined foods. They loved this new lifestyle so much they have since adopted it. All the recipes Lisa shares are created without white flour, sugar or corn syrup, anything out of a bag or can, fried foods, or fast foods. One of the most recent posts lists 85 great snack ideas. This is a good read for all students who like to munch on food while studying. I also need to add a snack to my daily diet so I don’t over-eat at any of my meals! Also, rather than providing recipes for dishes that we’ve all seen and eaten before, Lisa comes up with quirky, new dishes to satisfy the foodie in us. She came up with this delicious peanut Thai pasta recipe. The best part of this concoction? It uses ingredients you would normally find in a kitchen (such as peanut butter!) so you won’t have to make a dash for Fro-gro to pick up last minute items. Head over to the website to learn new techniques as well as advice from Lisa about what and what not to eat!
Who doesn’t love a good Italian dish? Marie at Proud Italian Cook is a self-proclaimed Italian foodie, who has been updating her blog for 5 years. She offers an abundance of knowledge on her website as well as many palate pleasing recipes. Marie is another cook who aims to try new things. A recent post that caught my eye provided recipes for refreshing dessert concoctions she created for the summer. Her easy-to-make grape salad definitely looks like it can serve as a satisfying mid-day snack! She also provides so many new ways to eat veggies, such as her veggie slaw recipe which only requires whatever vegetables you like, basil, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice. This slaw will definitely hit the spot during those first few weeks back at Penn where the weather is still as hot as ever. Head over to Proud Italian Cook for Marie’s original recipes (not to mention enticing pictures of her creations!).
The last blog is brought to you by Gina, who aims to create low fat versions of food she loves without sacrificing the taste or flavor. Her blog has been featured in Glamour, Fitness Magazine, and was the winner of SHAPE Magazine’s Best Healthy Eating Blogs of 2011. One of her most popular dishes is the Summer Potato Salad with Apples. Potato salads are generally avoided by healthy eaters because it combines potatoes and mayonnaise (two scary ingredients!). However, Gina switched up the recipe so that it only included 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise for 5 cups of potato salad. Instead, she threw in other ingredients to make up for the taste such as dijion mustard and red wine vinegar. Another readers’ favorite is the Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad. The title alone has me sold! The fresh ingredients she uses come together to create a dish that would be light and flavorful to the stomach.
Don’t let the school year weigh you down. Follow these three blogs to stay health-inspired even during the most stressful of school days. The pictures themselves give me an incentive to head home for a quick meal each day. Let us know in the comments if you find any of these blogs helpful or if you have other blogs to share!
– Cindy Yuan