10 Best Anti-Aging Foods to Eat Every Day

The greatest desire of every woman is to stay young and beautiful as long as possible. We usually try various methods in order to prevent the aging process in our body. Though, our efforts are not always successful. It is necessary to remember that certain things can help you to add years to your life. Firstly, you should lead a healthy lifestyle. For this you need to do regular physical exercises and include wholesome foods into your diet. If you want to stay young and avoid numerous age-related diseases, I recommend you to consume the following anti-aging foods every day. They are extremely beneficial for your health!

1. Fish
The conducted researches have shown that those people who eat a lot of fish almost never suffer from heart disease. For example, the native Inuits of Alaska are not familiar with this health issue because they regularly consume a big amount of fish. This food is known to be rich in omega-3 fats that will stabilize your heart rhythms and protect you against cholesterol buildup in arteries.

2. Olive Oil
Due to the fact that olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats it is one of those foods that are efficient in fighting cancer and heart disease. Everybody knows that people who live in Greece constantly use olive oil for cooking. Scientists’ studies have proven that the consumption of this oil lowers rates of heart diseases among the citizens of this country. By adding olive oil to your dishes you will supply your body with antioxidants and polyphenols which you need to resist different age-related diseases.

3. Chocolate
Cocoa is the main ingredient of chocolate. It has a high concentration of flavanols that are very good for blood vessels. When your blood vessels function well, you’re able to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and kidney disease. That’s why you can easily enjoy the sweet taste of your favorite chocolate. Just make sure you control your portions, or this dessert will be harmful to your health. Besides chocolate bars, there is a wide range of beverages made of cocoa. By drinking them you’ll have a chance to prevent heart disease.

4. Yogurt
Some years ago Georgia was one of the countries that had the biggest number of centenarians in the world. Yogurt was claimed to be the main secret of their long lives. This dairy product is frequently used in most diets that are so popular nowadays. Perhaps you’ve never heard before but yogurt may slow the aging process. Being full of calcium, this food is extremely effective in preventing osteoporosis. In addition, “good bacteria” that are found in yogurt will strengthen your immune system and improve your overall health.

5. Blueberries
Dietarians state that blueberries may have a fantastic impact on human body. If you include these delicious and wholesome berries into your daily menu you’ll be amazed with the results. According to scientific studies blueberries are considered to increase people’s coordination when they become old. Plus, this food contains compounds that can easily diminish oxidative damage and inflammation. These health problems can lead to deficits in memory and motor function when you are old. So, blueberries are a wonderful choice for healthy aging.

6. Nuts
If you really care about your health and beauty, I would advise you to add nuts to your eating plan. This food is an enormous source of unsaturated fats and it can affect your body in the same way as olive oil does. Recently it has been found out that people who eat nuts live a few years longer than those who refuse from this tasty snack. Such nutrients as vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, make nuts one of the healthiest foods. Today you can find different kinds of nuts that are also a perfect option for vegetarians.

7. Wine
The negative influence of alcohol on our health is undeniable. Some people even don’t guess that when consumed in moderate doses alcohol can be salubrious for them. It should be mentioned that wine is the most preferable alcoholic beverage all over the world. If you drink wine, you will not only enjoy its refined taste but you will protect yourself against numerous diseases as well. Those who drink red wine are less subjected to diabetes, memory loss and heart disease. What is more important, this beverage will slow the process of aging in your body.

8. Carrots
Carrot is another fantastic food that will certainly help you to look younger and you will supply your body with various vitamins and nutrients that are necessary to be healthy. This orange vegetable is a perfect source of alpha- and beta-carotene that are known to boost our immunity and even stave off cancer. Moreover, carrots may be effectively used to care for your skin because carotenoids protect it from UV damage. When summer comes, you should try to add carrots to your diet and don’t forget to apply sunscreen either.

9. Sunflower Seeds
First of all, I’d like to say that most of us give preference to these seeds when looking for yummy snacks. Do you know that this food is very good for your health? We can hardly find any other food that is more packed with vitamin E than sunflower seeds. We all need to consume this vitamin in order to enhance our immune system which becomes weak with age. Nevertheless you have all chances to roll back the years by eating your favorite sunflower seeds.

10. Prunes
Perhaps you are surprised to see prunes on this list, but it has been proven that this food can be even more efficient than fresh fruits when it comes to our health. One of the reasons why prunes are so useful to us is their capacity to remove harmful free radicals from the blood and improve our circulation. Being dried, prunes have a big quantity of good things that have positive effect on our body. As an alternative to prunes you can also eat raisins or figs.

Unfortunately, we can’t stop time and stay young forever. However, we have endless opportunities to add years to our life and to look amazing no matter how old we are. All the above foods will definitely help you to stay healthy and by eating them you’ll be able to avoid various age-related diseases. What methods do you use to prevent the negative effects of aging? Do you eat any other anti-aging foods? What are they?

7 Delicious Foods to Eat to Increase Your Water Intake

While we all have to drink enough water every day, it’s also vital to eat foods that help boost our water intake. Not only do these foods keep us hydrated, they are incredibly tasty. Water-rich foods contribute to our needs and keep us from suffering dehydration symptoms. Add these seven water-rich foods to your diet and you will instantly be feeling healthy and refreshed.

1. Lettuce
Lettuce is one of the best water-rich foods you can eat to increase your water intake. It contains around 92% of water, which makes it good for thirst. Use romaine, Bibb lettuce, spinach or radicchio in your salad to add absolutely new flavors and mix them with plenty of other vegetables.

2. Watermelon
Another delicious food to eat to boost your water intake is watermelon. It’s approximately 92% water, so why not add it to your eating plan? Watermelon is an amazing treat to eat during the summer season, though you can also find it all year round at most grocery stores. You can serve watermelon sliced as a side dish and use it in a spinach salad. The options are endless.

3. Pineapples
There are many reasons to eat pineapple every day. One of them is because it helps you increase your water intake. Pineapples make a wonderful addition to smoothies or fruit salad, but I love to chop them up and use them to make sour and sweet chicken. They are always great on their own too. Pineapple is around 85% water, so it’s a tangy and sweet way to help increase your everyday water intake.

4. Oranges
One orange is around 90% water. Oranges are available year-round and make a healthy portable snack. So, next time you are thirsty, have one orange to increase your water intake. Moreover, oranges work great in fruit salad and smoothies. Slice one and add it to your water bottle for a delicious flavor.

5. Yogurt
Perhaps you are surprised to see yogurt on this list, but despite its thick texture, yogurt is also rich in water. Plus, it is high in healthy probiotics that help improve your digestion and help with weight loss. Try to avoid fruit flavored yogurts since they are loaded with sugar. Plain yogurt is the best choice here and to jazz it up you can add some chopped fresh fruits, such as pineapples and oranges, and a little bit of honey, if you want.

6. Apples
One of the best portable snacks is definitely apples. You don’t have to refrigerate them and you can eat them on-the-go. An apple is around 85% water, so it’s a good way to fill your stomach and slake your thirst at the same time. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown around the world. I personally like Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths. And what’s your favorite kind of apples?

7. Cucumbers
Finally, cucumbers can also help you boost your everyday water intake. Add them to your green smoothies and vegetable salad for a mild flavor and a perfect crunch. I love to eat cucumbers raw or with a bit of honey. They make a wonderful snack to eat any time of the day to stay hydrated and healthy.

I hope you know how it’s important to stay hydrated all the time. So make sure you get enough water daily. Are you going to add these foods to your eating plan?

7 Common Breakfast Mistakes That Can Lead to Weight Gain

It is a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important and substantial meal of the day. We should be careful while choosing foods to eat in the morning and it is necessary to include only healthy ingredients into our breakfast menu so that we can get all the vital nutrients and vitamins. Unfortunately, most of us rarely pay much attention to the foods we consume at the start of our day. You don’t even guess that there are lots of breakfast mistakes that can lead to weight gain. Perhaps you think your option for breakfast is the best and the healthiest, however, it may be harmful for your waistline. I would recommend you to keep in mind the following breakfast mistakes and you will be healthy and slim at the same time.

1. Veggie and Cheese Omelet
Surely, this is a delicious and nutritious dish to cook for your breakfast. It will supply your body with a big amount of protein that is so good for your health. Dietarians say this food will help you to avoid hunger during the day. To add vegetables to your omelet is a wonderful decision, but cheese is high in fat and sodium, so by consuming it you may gain weight. You’d better give preference to various veggies and you will enjoy flavorous taste of your breakfast.

2. Whole Grain Cereal
Whole grain cereal is considered to be one of the most wholesome foods, especially if eaten in the morning. Though, there are certain reasons due to which it can be bad for you. For example, most cereals usually contain some sugar that will give extra calories to your body. That’s why you should always control the sugar content when buying whole grain cereal for your healthy diet. Make sure you consume minimum sugar for breakfast and you will certainly benefit from it.

3. Orange Juice
Drinking orange juice in the morning is one of the greatest breakfast mistakes. I should say that in compare with the fresh fruit, juice doesn’t have all the nutritional values you need. Moreover, this drink is rich in sugar. For this reason, I advise you to remove any kind of juice from your breakfast and choose the actual fruit instead. Fresh orange or apple is a nice source of natural sugar for you.

4. Sweetened Oatmeal
As it has been already mentioned, you should minimize your daily intake of sugar in order to stay active and beautiful for a long time. Don’t believe all the labels saying that oatmeal is good for your heart while it is full of sugar. If you have sweetened oatmeal for breakfast regularly, you can be sure you consume sugar in excess. Actually, oatmeal is a kind of dessert as it is often served with different flavors like apple cinnamon or maple raisin. I think omelet with veggies will be much better for you.

5. Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt
Yogurt with fruit is one of the top favorite foods eaten for breakfast. You’ll be surprised to know that those sweet and yummy fruits on the bottom yogurt are incredibly high in sugar. All your attempts to make a perfect choice will be ruined because this yogurt will cause you to gain weight. Try to look for some plain yogurt and add fresh fruit to it. You will get the most delicious dessert and healthy breakfast together.

6. Whole Wheat Bagel
I know plenty of people who can’t imagine their breakfast without whole wheat bagels. Being loaded with carbohydrates and having not enough protein, this food must be eliminated from your morning menu. Whole wheat toast and peanut butter are healthy sources of carbs for you. By switching to these foods you’ll provide your body with protein and avoid extra calories.

7. Not Eating Enough
Breakfast is the first meal of the day that should be balanced and nutritious to give you energy and health. Some people make a big mistake when eat little during their breakfast. In the morning, our body works more actively than at other time, so we need more food for energy. If you have a small breakfast, just in a few hours you’ll be hungry and not able to work well. Moreover, when you come back home in the evening, you will eat everything you can find in your fridge and it will definitely lead to weight gain. Make it a rule to have a substantial breakfast and you will see the difference.

I hope that after reading these recommendations you will pay more attention to your breakfast and choose the healthiest foods to start your day with. Be careful not to make all the above mistakes and you will achieve great results in losing weight. What foods do you usually eat in the morning? Do you benefit from them? What breakfast mistakes do you usually make?

10 Foods to Eat to Trim Down Your Body Naturally

Nowadays most of us have busy schedules and we don’t pay enough attention to our health. As we know, nutrition is the most significant part of our physical and emotional well-being, and it’s important to eat well even if you are on a diet. The main thing is to trim down your body the natural and healthy way and do it step-by-step that is quite difficult at times. Just look for all the best foods that make your body work like as a clock. Don’t be too strict and avoid suffering from poor nutrition and going hungry the whole day. Remember, wealth is nothing without health. So make sure you eat healthy and trim down your body naturally. Try to enrich your dishes with foods that support your physical well-being and help drop those unwanted pounds. You won’t have a feeling like you are a diet slave and there’s no need to stay hungry. Combine these foods with your snacks and meals and enjoy the process of losing weight with little efforts.

1. Oats
A steaming bowl of fresh cooked oatmeal is the best way to gain the strength and energy to start off your active day. Oats are very easy to digest and always fulfill you with a great portion of healthy substances. If you start your morning with a nutritious, fiber rich meal such as oats, you will never have problems with maintaining a healthy weight.

Oats are a great source of magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. They contain a lot of iron and vitamin B1, too. Plus, oats are fat-free, having a lot of healthy minerals and vitamins. You can use oats in different dishes; add them to cookies, muffins, chicken omelets and smoothies. Oats stabilize the level of sugar in your blood and increase your fiber and protein intake. Nowadays many people eat oat meals in the morning and take it as a rule. We should know that oats are extremely useful for our health and they are one of the best foods to eat to trim down your body naturally.

2. Fish
Fish is considered to be a super nourishing food that can help you drop a few unwanted pounds as quick as possible. It increases and repairs your lean muscle mass due to its amino acids content. Not to become bored with constant fish dishes, you can pair it with some other healthy foods. Fish is low in calories so don’t be afraid of getting fat, furthermore it contains no carbs at all. If you are anxious about fast weight loss, you should be sure that choosing other kinds of meat is not the best option.

They say that fish is an indispensable element of nutrition. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. Moreover, containing a huge amount of omegas 3, fish can help us protect against a range of diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin that can help to ease depression. Be sure that fish is a super-food that can trim down your body quickly and help you to be healthy.

3. Berries
It seems berries are the most delicious food to eat to trim down your body naturally. They are extremely low in sugar and help burn fat cells as well. Berries raise the level of serotonin, making your mood majestic and stable to stresses. They contain a great number of vitamins, minerals and are rich in antioxidants, including quercetin, anthocyanins and vitamin C. All these elements help release toxins from a set of cells in the body.

Berries are “juicy foods” because they contain mostly water, that’s why they are great for losing weight. Moreover, berries contain folate and fiber that help us lower the level of cholesterol and normalize blood pressure. You can add berries to different dishes, cakes, cocktails, beverages and cookies. Remember that berries can be frozen to get them in usage during off-season months.

4. Greens
Many people find greens the most effective way to trim down the body. Greens are incredibly low in calories and can help keep you full longer. Greens balance your body, regulate different physiological processes and make your mind bright. Greens are full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that protect and restore your skin and body cells. They contain a high level of nutrients. When you eat greens, your body does not require more signals to eat, as a result, you feel full and don’t overeat.

Greens reduce the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. Moreover, they help reduce blood cholesterol levels. As we see, eating greens is one of the best ways to stay healthy and lose weight. They are a rich source of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamins such as C, K, E and B group as well.

5. Coconut
Coconut is a very special and delightful food to eat to trim down your body naturally. If you didn’t know, the palm tree is believed to be “The Tree of Life.” Coconut is good for your immunity, having antibacterial and antiviral effects. It boosts your mental activity, protects from stress by reducing the level of cortisol in your blood and keeps your mood in order.

Coconuts are an excellent source of fiber, minerals, amino acids and vitamins. They are packed with potassium, magnesium, calcium and a set of electrolytes. Coconut is used in many forms like oil, milk and butter. Eating coconuts supports the structure and development of healthy and strong teeth and bones. Coconut has useful antioxidant properties that slow down the aging process. It is a quick energy source and many people find it extremely nourishing.

6. Cucumbers
I think everyone loves cucumbers. They are so useful and rich in helpful elements and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium. Cucumbers are good for your health and they can help you shed a few unwanted pounds fast. Just be aware that they are often sprayed with pesticides, so try to buy organic ones. Due to their low calorie and high water content, cucumbers aid in digestion and weight loss. Did you know that cucumbers eliminate bad breath? Take a slice of it and press in to the roof of your mouth with the tongue for a minute. Its chemicals will kill bacteria in your mouth.

Apart from weight loss, cucumbers boast numerous benefits. They are high in sulfur and silicon that help to stimulate hair growth. Cucumbers are also used to ease sunburns and skin irritations. Add them to your green smoothies, vegetable salads or eat them raw.

7. Egg whites
Egg whites contain a lot of proteins and don’t have many calories. One egg has only 71 calories and it’s one of the best foods to add to your healthy diet. An egg white contains selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. Egg whites can be used in various recipes. Eat them in the morning and they will leave you feeling much fuller than breakfast cereals. Egg whites also contain small amounts of vitamin B which is healthy for your body.

8. Lemons
Lemons reduce stress due to their vitamin C content and burn fats with lightning speed. Lemon juice with a pinch of salt every morning lowers cholesterol levels and brings your weight down. Lemons are high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, preventing many diseases, including cancers, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. If you feel that you are getting ill, try to start curing yourself with help of lemons. Lemon helps produce antibodies in blood that attack the invading micro organism and fights the infection. Add a few drops of lemon juice in hot water to purify the liver and clear the digestive system. Lemon is one of the best fat burning foods that can help you trim down your body naturally.

9. Veggies
Veggies can be freely paired with greens to make your nutrition full and balanced. Everyone has their own favorite set of veggies. I prefer carrots, beets, celery, turnips and potatoes. I’m sure everyone knows about enormous benefits of Brussel spouts, onions, broccoli and cabbages. They are extremely nutritious and contain a great number of vitamins, fiber and water. All these elements and minerals fill your body up and help trim down the body naturally.

Veggies are also high in folate, potassium and vitamins A, E and C. The proverb says: “A sound mind in a sound body.” Try to add more veggies and greens to your eating plan and you will notice the improvement in a quite short period of time.

10. Nonfat Greek yogurt
Everyone seems to like nonfat Greek yogurt it’s a great snack that is low in sugar, calories and high in protein. It’s also packed with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin D and B 12. Nonfat Greek yogurts are essential, especially for women. Add your favorite berries to your yogurt and you will have a wonderful snack that will help you trim down your body naturally.

Trimming down your body doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Include these foods to your eating plan and you will see how it’s easy to be slim and healthy. What’s your favorite way to trim down the body naturally?

10 Essential Beauty Foods for Women

The food we eat affects us in many ways. Many foods enhance us on the inside with their composition of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Yet many foods can also impact the way we look on the outside. While we already know that eating greasy foods, for example, can negatively impact our skin, there are actually many foods that support the beauty of our exteriors. The following ten foods are ideal for enhancing our outer beauty in healthful ways.

1. Strawberries

The cleansing potential of strawberries is perfect for enhancing the beauty of the skin. Eating strawberries helps your body flush out dead skin cells as well as other impurities. The vitamin C power of strawberries is also essential for repairing damaged skin; a single cup a day can help you support the body’s ability to repair damaged skin tissue.

2. Walnuts
Walnuts have the ability to enhance both skin and hair. Rich in vitamin E, protein, and omega-3s, these nuts pack a healthy punch for your tresses. Walnuts also help the skin retain its youthful glow by promoting the body’s natural detox ability and offering some skin protection from harmful UV sun rays. Delicious and healthy, walnuts are a great beautifying snack on the go.

3. Red Peppers
Red peppers are great for perfect skin. They help keep your skin nourished with the nutrients it needs to thrive and provide added protection from free radicals and harmful UV rays. They are also rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene which enhances the beauty of the skin. In fact, one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking youthful is to include more red peppers in your diet. They are versatile and can be added to various types of cuisine for delicious results.

4. Greek Yogurt
Not only is Greek Yogurt a great part of any diet and can enhance your fitness plan, it can support the beauty of your hair, nails, and even skin. This yogurt’s natural enzymes and lactic acid helps nourish and protect the skin as well as the nails and hair. Moreover, because it promotes a healthy digestive tract, it allows the body to more regularly get rid of waste and other toxins naturally which can certainly enhance the look of your body.

5. Eggs
The rich protein content in eggs can enhance anyone’s tresses! Your hair needs protein to grow and for strength. Additionally, eggs have a high iron content which is also important for a healthy mane of hair. Iron promotes the body’s ability to deliver important oxygen to hair follicles; without it, there is increased risk for hair loss.

6. Olive Oil
Olive oil is loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. While many ancient as well as modern sources have written on the ways olive oil can be used topically to enhance the look of skin and hair, it is also a great beautifying agent when part of a diet. With its many health benefits, including its ability to promote heart health, olive oil is a must for a healthy diet as well as one designed with beauty in mind.

7. Salmon
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for the body in general, but they also support hair growth. If you want to grow long and healthy tresses, be sure to include salmon in your diet. The omega-3s in salmon are found in your scalp as well as in the natural oils of your hair which are essential for keeping it moisturized. Well-moisturized hair is less prone to breakage and certainly helps the hair look beautiful and healthy too.

8. Blueberries
Blueberries are noted for their anti-aging benefits. They can help keep the skin looking healthy and youthful with their anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant protection. They can even help your eyes look bright! Convenient and delicious, a snack of blueberries is always a good idea; add them to your morning cereal or oatmeal to benefit from their beautifying effects.

9. Oysters
Since hair loss can be linked to a lack of zinc in the diet, eating zinc-rich foods like oysters has the potential to promote a thick and luscious crop of hair. Interestingly, oysters can even promote eye-lash growth! While other foods contain zinc as well, oysters also have a high protein content which is an essential building block for your hair.

10. Tomatoes
Tomatoes have the unique ability to bolster skin cells so they are better able to guard against damage from UV rays. They are rich in vitamin A which the skin needs to prevent dryness. Well moisturized skin appears particularly attractive and youthful. The antioxidant power of tomatoes also helps keep the skin in excellent condition by providing protection from free radical damage. Ramp up their power by cooking them first; cooked tomatoes have even more unlocked nutritional power than fresh ones!
Incorporate these beauty foods into your eating plan and you will always look beautiful. What are your favorite beauty foods?

Shrink Your Waistline in a Week! These Tips Will Do the Trick!

If you are looking for quick and effective ways to shrink your waistline in a week to get ready for bikini season, you’ve come to the right place. You don’t have to try new diets, starve yourself every day, and spend hours at the gym to reduce your waistline. A few simple changes will be enough to reach your weight loss goal. Starving yourself or exhausting your body is probably the worst way to shrink your waistline. I suggest that you try out these healthy ways to shrink your waistline in one week.


1. Have a protein-based breakfast each day
If you want to shrink your waistline in a week, start with the main meal of the day, breakfast. Avoid eating oatmeal, cereal, and any another type of starchy food for breakfast, instead have a protein-based breakfast every morning. Protein speeds up your metabolism by 25% more than carbs do, and makes you feel fuller longer. Try eating egg whites, Greek yogurt with berries or having a protein shake for breakfast and you will see the results.

2. Cut down on fat
While healthy fats are essential for your brain function and overall health, some fats can make you gain weight faster than you think. Cut down on fat to shrink your waistline in one week. Eliminate all cooking oils and use cooking spray instead. Avoid eating too many nuts as well. Try consuming more seeds such as chia and flax, which contain less fat and more fiber and protein than nuts.

3. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber helps to fill you up quicker on fewer calories and it also helps to prevent overeating. Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp fiber, psyllium husk powder, non-starchy veggies, berries, and coconut flour are all excellent sources of fiber. Add them to your smoothies, salads or yogurt to increase your fiber intake.

4. Add strength training
Although cardio is the key to shrinking your waistline, strength training is also important. After a strength training session, lean muscle burns fat, especially in the belly area, for over 12 hours. Aim for 20-25 minutes a day 3 times a week to see amazing results. But don’t overdo it!

5. Consume more nonfat yogurt
Yogurt is high in probiotic cultures and protein that help to reduce excess bloating and belly fat. The trick is to eat more plain, nonfat Greek yogurt as a great option for shrinking your waistline. You can add some berries and stevia to your yogurt to make it more delicious. Don’t forget about moderation!

6. Use stevia
Start using stevia instead of natural and artificial sweeteners such as sugar, maple syrup and honey. Stevia is low on the glycemic index and it’s both naturally and virtually calorie-free. Stevia is sweeter than sugar and it has no impact on your waistline. Opt for liquid varieties of stevia since powders can contain additives and fillers.

7. Keep your dinner simple
When you are trying to lose inches off your waist, it’s important to have a light dinner and avoid nighttime snacking. Consider eating fish with some vegetables and a sweet potato for dinner. If you are vegan, some quinoa with vegetables and tempeh will be a great option too. Season with spices and herbs instead of salt, oil, mayo and butter.

As you can see, it’s possible to shrink your waistline in one week without starving yourself. Don’t skip your meals and make sure you make healthy food choices throughout the day. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow and it’s not good for your body and your waistline. Are you going to try out any of these tips? Do you have any other tips to share with us?

COLD YOGURT SOUP WITH CUCUMBERS AND DILL

A refreshing soup to keep you cool during summer.

This soup is one of my sister’s favorites. She just loves it. She’d have it for dinner or lunch, sometimes as a snack when she’s not sure if she’s really hungry or not.

I assure you, when I say my sister, it’s not a code for “me”. And I didn’t just talk in third person about myself. Because to be completely honest I’m not the biggest fan of cold soups.

To me a soup should be warm. Even hot. As in burn my tongue, whine about it and then continue eating hot. Ok, I’m lying, I’m not a complete lunatic. My point is a soup should be hot, without hurting you – it’s meant to comfort you and warm your heart.

Even though I hate cold soups, I must admit this one is quite refreshing.

So refreshing, that last time my sister made it, I even had a whole bowl, after I took approximately 3 million pictures of it of course.

Since I posted a few recipes with yogurt, cucumber and dill already, you’re now most probably asking yourself: “Is she trying to show us the million ways you can prepare yogurt, dill and cucumber?”.

The answer is maybe.

I did not make that plan, but this is definitely one of the many recipes you can make with yogurt, dill and cucumbers.

 

This way you can spend your summer rested, you won’t burst into flames and won’t swell up 10 sizes.

This cold yogurt soup is not thick, but it’s super refreshing, very filling and low in calories, therefore great if you’re trying to lose some weight.

How to Make Yogurt Tutorial

When I started experimenting with the GAPS diet I noticed right away, from reading the book, that eating yogurt was a big part of the diet and the process of regaining gut health.

I was super intimidated by making my own yogurt but after some initial research, I decided that it didn’t seem too hard and that I should just jump in and give it a try. I’m so glad that I did, because the process was so easy and the results were wonderful.

During my research I found that like most things, there are a million different ways to make homemade yogurt. You can order a starter or use a commercial yogurt as your starter. You can use a dehydrator, heating pad, crockpot, yogurt maker or oven to act as your incubator.

I opted for the oven because I didn’t own a dehydrator and why get the crock pot dirty when I can just throw the jars in the oven (I’m all about whatever gives me less dishes to wash). I found that when I was doing the GAPS diet I was using canning jars quite a bit to store things in the fridge (bone broth, soup, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.) so I decided that since I would more than likely be using canning jars to store my yogurt, I might as well just make it in the jars (again, less washing).

How to Make Yogurt: the Basic Process

Step 1: Choosing your milk

First, choose your milk. This can be any kind of milk, but the more healthy your milk is the more healthy your yogurt will be. Raw milk is best, especially if following the GAPS protocol, but I didn’t have access to raw milk at the time I started making this. Instead, I used milk locally produced using a low pasteurization process that is non-homogenized, which means that I had that yummy layer of cream on top.

You can also use goat’s milk. Whatever milk you decide to use make sure it is not ultra-pasteurized (the label of the milk will say whether it is ultra-pasteurized or homogenized). In order to get the most nutrition, I also opted for whole milk.

I typically begin by using a ½ gallon of milk. I don’t quite fill the jars all the way, so I end up using 2 quart jars and 1 pint jar.

Step 2: Heating the Milk

Put your milk in a stainless steel pan on medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees. The first time I made my yogurt I only had a basic candy thermometer, so I had to really stay with it to watch the temperature.

More recently, I’ve purchased a digital quick read thermometer. This makes the whole process so much easier because you can set the temperature alert to 180 degrees and the alarm will go off when it reaches that temperature. This is also helpful later, during the incubation period.

Step 3: Cooling the milk

Once the milk reaches 180 degrees, pour it into the canning jars. Using a stainless steel wide mouthed funnel made this easy to do, but just pouring from the pan or using a glass measuring cup works too.

The milk then needs to cool to 115 degrees. You can do this by either putting the milk in a cool water bath or just letting it sit on the counter, keeping a really good eye on it either way. I place the lids loosely on top of the jars to keep dirt out.

With my first batch, I used the cool water bath technique and it cooled down much sooner than I thought it would. At the time, I didn’t have a thermometer with an alarm to warn me that it had reached 115 degrees. Before I knew it, the yogurt was at 110 degrees and dropping and I flew into panic mode.

The yogurt still worked out, which just shows that it’s really hard to mess this process up and it doesn’t all have to be exact. The other thing you have to be careful of with the cool water bath is that if it’s too cool then you risk cracking the jars.

The second time I made a batch I was more patient and let it cool on its own on the counter top. It took longer but I wasn’t so stressed out from the quick temperature drop of the cool water bath.

Step 4: Adding the Culture

Once the milk has reached 115 degrees, you will add 2 tablespoons of pre-made yogurt to each quart of milk. The yogurt can come from either a previous batch (if you’ve already made some) or from a store bought yogurt. You can also use a store-bought yogurt culture, but using pre-made yogurt is easier and less expensive.

Personally, I use the organic plain Stoneyfield Greek yogurt for my starter. Stir lightly, just to incorporate the yogurt into the warm milk.

Step 5: Incubating the Yogurt

Once the culture has been added, it is ready to go into the oven to incubate (with the lids on). You want a fairly consistent temperature.

The first couple of times I made my yogurt I just used the 40 watt appliance light bulb that was in the oven. I found that the temperature was dropping lower than I wanted it to, so I would have to turn the oven on to heat it back up every couple of hours. I incubated it overnight and didn’t wake up to check the temperature or turn the oven on, but when I woke up in the morning the temperature was reading 100 degrees which is less than optimal incubating temperature (115 degrees would have been better).

Interestingly, it didn’t ruin my yogurt and it still came out really well. Again, it just goes to show that this method is hard to mess up (even with all of the mishaps during my first experiment). I have since (ok, my husband has) replaced our 40 watt bulb with a 60 watt bulb and it now holds the temperature closer to the optimal 115.

If the temperature goes above 115 degrees you run the risk of killing your culture. You may need to do some testing with your oven light to see what temperature it holds at when the light is on for a period of time and try 40 watt and 60 watt bulbs. The optimal incubation range is 95-115 degrees.

The yogurt needs to incubate for at least 10-12 hours. The GAPS protocol calls for a 24 hour incubation period in order for the majority of lactose to be consumed by the bacteria (this articledoes a great job explaining all of that). The longer it incubates, the more tangy the finished yogurt will be.

Important note: Just make sure not to forget that you are incubating yogurt in the oven and accidentally turn the oven on. My new digital quick read thermometer makes this less likely to happen. The thermometer probe goes into the oven sitting in one of the jars, while the digital display portion of it sits on top of my stove so that I can easily monitor the temperature of the yogurt. Seeing the digital display sitting on my stove top keeps me from forgetting about the yogurt incubating in the oven and accidentally turning it on.

Once the yogurt is done incubating, refrigerate it to set the yogurt and just pour off the extra whey. The whey can be saved to use for other recipes, especially if you are following the GAPS protocol.

If you want a thicker yogurt then you can always strain off the remaining whey using cheese cloth. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of super thick yogurt so I found that I really enjoyed it just the way it was once the whey was poured off after the yogurt was refrigerated and set.

My favorite way to eat the yogurt is with local raw honey drizzled over it. It’s also really good in smoothies or added to soups.

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How to Make Yogurt – Tutorial

prep 15 mins

cook 25 hours

total 25 hours, 15 mins

author wellness mama

Ingredients

Canning Jars and lids (2 quart size & 1 pint size)
1/2 gallon of milk- preferably raw
3 tablespoons of starter (pre-made yogurt)
Instructions

Heat milk in a stainless steel pan over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees.
Pour heated milk into clean canning jars and cool, either by sitting on the counter or in a cool water bath until the temperature drops to 115 degrees.
Add culture-2 tablespoons (of yogurt from a previous batch, store bought yogurt) per quart of milk. Lightly stir just enough to incorporate into the milk.
Place the jars into the oven with the light on for 12-24 hours. The light should provide a consistent heat of about 110 degrees.
Put jars into the refrigerator until they yogurt is cold and set.
Once the yogurt is set you can pour off the liquid whey from the top or strain the yogurt using cheesecloth for a thicker consistency.
Enjoy!