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Travel the world. Feel fantastic. (July 2015 issue)
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This lightened up the classic spinach dip with creamy avocado and tangy Greek yogurt.
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Feel Fantastic This Summer
July 2015  

Happy Summer, my friend!
 
A few days ago I returned from an eleven-day vacation. And four of those days I went completely without the internet. That’s right, no Facebook, no email, no Instagram (but you can catch the photos here!). It was so satisfying to completely unplug. And my husband unplugged, too. If you get the chance to do that on your next vacation, I highly recommend doing so--stress, be gone!
 
Eight of the eleven days were spent on a cruise, without a whole grain in sight. Perhaps a caramel-colored slice of bread and roll with seeds in it, but that was it. Fortunately, there were other health oases that I discovered and took full advantage of. Here are my top six tips to help stay healthy, wherever your summer plans may take you:
  • Get your veg on. Take advantage of any appetizing vegetable opportunities along the way. Salads are usually a safe bet, and ethnic vegetable side dishes help break the monotony. If you spot a good meatless meal, grab it.
  • Make soup and salad your meal. If nothing on the main menu is too tempting, opt for a broth and vegetable-based soup and you’ll be cutting calories big time, while adding all that lovely fiber to keep your GI tract, um, on track.
  • Have snacks, will travel. I always bring my favorite whole-food snack bars to keep hunger at bay until the next meal. KIND Healthy Grains are my favorite of late, and are also a client. I also bring a bag of nuts, like mixed nuts or pistachios. And a bar of dark chocolate, to help sidestep heavy desserts at dinner. Check out my travel snacks video for more info.
  • Take the stairs. Even if you didn’t get the chance to workout, or maybe sipping a margarita in a horizontal position sounded more alluring at the time, you can always bust out a couple flights of stairs on the way to your next activity. On the cruise, I improvised a running loop mixed in with stairs, lunges, elbow presses and push ups. The days I didn’t workout, I took more stairs. And squeeze those glutes!
  • Stay hydrated. I bring my Klean Kanteen with me wherever I go, ensuring the availability of cool, tasty water. And I add plenty of ice to anything I’m drinking. I figure that must count for something. Melons have a really high water content and help, too. Iced tea counts as water, too (preferably unsweetened).
  • Catch your zzz’s. I am a sleep evangelist. Getting your full 7 to 9 hours each night will give you more patience to handle travel stressors, energy to chase after your kids, and the will to move more and see the sights. So skip that last round of drinks and git yo’ self to bed.
That is all for now. Enjoy this issue with my latest and greatest summer recipes and travel tips. Stay happy. Stay healthy. And may your summer excursions and experiences be plentiful and merry.
 
Cheers,
- Michelle
XOXO
The Michelle File: My Latest Recipes
I love avocados, which is why I was so excited to create two recipes for the California Avocado Commission. Check out my Avocado, Spinach and Greek Yogurt Dip (which I am obSESSed with) and Avocado and White Bean Wrap (so easy, tasty and satisfying).
Stuffed mushrooms are an awesome appetizer, so I created these entreé-sized Grilled Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms for my latest installment on FoodNetwork.com's Healthy Eats blog.
Vegan and husband approved! Meatless doesn't have to mean flavorless. A stove-top sear and a boost from curry powder ensure that my Curried Broccoli and Chickpea Saute is packed with flavor. 
At Home with Michelle
I share my carry-on friendly snacks I pack while traveling. Eat better and save money with the healthful alternatives to airport and hotel food I share in this video!
When people find out I've written a clean eating cook book, the first question I get asked is, "What exactly is clean eating?" Check out my personal definition in this video!
Seasonally Obsessed
Cool drinks for hot weather: In case you didn't know, Scottsdale is HOT this time of year, reaching 116 degrees F, sometimes. While I am sure to drink plenty of icy cold water (okay, that isn't always my greatest strength), sometimes you just need a change of pace. I typically skip bottled beverages, as they are often loaded with extra calories or artificial sweeteners. Luckily, I've got a treasure trove of healthy beverage recipes on my site. Whether you are looking for an Earl Grey Cola, a Strawberry Coconut Water Cooler or a sangria recipe for your Friday happy  hour, I've got you covered!
Michelle in News You Can Use
Freshen up your Fourth of July Menu at Arizona Midday: The Fourth of July may have come and gone, but the fit and flavorful recipes I shared with Arizona Midday are still perfect all summer long! (sponsored segment)
Fruit salad is a total go-to way to eat more fruit in my house, but sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit. Part fruit salad, part pizza, part cookie, my Fruit Pizza is the perfect way to use up your beautiful summer produce. My daughter Scarlet devours this dessert!
More News:
Curried Broccoli and Chickpea Saute, Arizona Midday
11 "Healthy" Foods Diet Experts Avoid, Time Magazine
Behind the Scenes
The girls doing their thang. I received a new gluten-free brownie mix (LivingNow Foods) in the mail as a promotional sample, so I decided to make it with the girls. You can tell they loved eating the batter. And Scarlet, my 6 year old, is all about wanting to do everything: measuring, stirring, adding, pouring, smoothing. And especially the eating. The brownies tasted pretty good, and seemed to taste better on the second day.
Don't have my cookbook yet? You're missing out on over 110 mouth-watering, quick-fix meals filled with clean ingredients that everyone will love! Available at Amazon and wherever fine books are sold. It's also a great gift for the parent who enjoys cooking.
Eat Like Me, Shop Like Me: Check out my new Amazon store. I get a small commission off of anything you buy through my store or link, which helps pay for website maintenance, improving the way I communicate with you online. Check out my aStore here!

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