One of the easiest herbs you can grow, basil comes in many varieties that can be put to numerous culinary uses

One of the easiest herbs you can grow, basil comes in many varieties that can be put to numerous culinary uses

One of the most popular of the culinary herbs, basil is widely used in many types of cuisine. It is most famous as the leading ingredient in pesto. Basil is most often grown as an annual preferring the warmer temperatures of summer, doing well at 70 degrees or higher. It is quite tender and will wilt quickly at the first sign of freezing temperatures.

Types of Basil and why you will love them
One of the most popular of the culinary herbs, basil is widely used in many types of cuisine. It is most famous as the leading ingredient in pesto. Basil is most often grown as an annual preferring the warmer temperatures of summer, doing well at 70 degrees or higher. It is quite tender and will wilt quickly at the first sign of freezing temperatures.
If you grow only one herb in your garden, basil is a good choice. While sweet and Genovese are probably the most common varieties of basil, they are many other wonderful variations to choose from. With sizes ranging from 8 inches to 4 feet tall, there are plenty of choices when it comes to growing basil in the garden.

* Sweet Basil
* Genovese basil
* Thai sweet basil
* Purple basil
* Lemon basil
* Lime basil
* Lettuce Basil
* Green Ruffles
* Holy Basil
* Cinnamon Basil
* African Blue Basil
* Cardinal Basil
* Greek Basil
* Spicy Globe Basil
* Summerlong
* In Summary – Basil Varieties

select a new one to try in your garden or next dish…

Sweet basil is probably the most common varieties of basil very popular in pestos, salads, and marinades. When you find basil in the grocery store, it will most often be the sweet basil variety.
Sweet basil is a medium green color with a rounded cup-shaped leaf. Sweet basil has been known to repel mosquitos.

Genovese is the classic Italian basil with extra-large dark green leaves. This is another excellent basil to use in pestos and Italian dishes.
The leaves of Genovese are flatter than Sweet basil with a more pointed shape.
Some cultivars use Sweet and Genovese basil interchangeably labeling the plant sweet Genovese basil. True Genovese has a stronger more aromatic flavor.

Thai basil has smaller dark pointed leaves and boasts a spicy, licorice flavor. Asian dishes often feature Thai basil, such as Spicy Sesame Noodles or Thai Basil Chicken. Thai basil keeps its flavor at higher cooking temperatures as compared to other types of basil.
Siam Queen, shown to the right is pretty in the garden with its dark purple flowers blooming at the end of the season.  It’s quite spectacular when grown in large groupings.  Siam Queen grows 2 feet tall and can be harvested starting at 60 days.

Purple basil has a striking dark burgundy color that provides excellent contrast in the herb garden. The flavor is not as sweet as some basil varieties with a stronger clove taste. Highly aromatic, purple basil can be steeped in vinegar or oil to add a beautiful color to your dishes.
The Dark Opal Purple basil grows 18 inches tall.  A few plants (about 20%) will be variegated or green plants creating a pretty color combination. It has large leaves that average one to 1 2/3 inches when fully grown.  Dark Opal basil reaches maturity at 80 days.

Lettuce basil has a distinctive appearance with large, floppy wrinkled leaves. As the name implies, it works well in salads and fresh dishes. The leaves of the lettuce basil are four inches wide and between six and ten inches long. This makes it ideal for use in lettuce wraps where most other basils would be much too small.
Lettuce leaf basil is an Italian basil with a mild flavor.   Although the leaves are large, the plant itself is pretty compact in size.  It is one of the shorter basils growing to just about a foot high.  It is also slow to flower, so lasts a bit longer in the heat of the summer before going to seed.

Green Ruffles Basil has curled leaves making it a lovely basil to grow in the garden. The flavor is mild and delicate is especially good in pasta dishes. The ruffled leaves also make this a great basil to use in salads.
Green Ruffled Basil grows 20 to 24 inches tall.  It can be harvested as early as 70 days.

Holy Basil is highly fragrant with a spicy, sweet musky scent. The flavor is best when cooked since eaten raw it can be slightly bitter. Holy basil is used in Indian cuisine, especially in meat curries.
Holy basil is also known as tulsi which means the incomparable one in South Asia. It is a sacred plant in Hinduism. There are many medicinal as well as religious uses for Holy Basil. Holy Basil is used to treat stomach ailments, the kidneys and promote blood circulation.

Greek basil is one of the smallest varieties growing to only 8 inches tall. It has a compact form with small pointed leaves. Greek basil is often used to spice up salads or in soups or meat dishes. A sprig of Greek basil can also make an excellent garnish.
Greek basil is easy to grow in a pot. It can be enjoyed for its culinary uses or combined with ornamentals in the flower garden.  It can be very attractive when located in the front of the border with other low growing plants such as pansies or violas.

Spicy Globe Basil
Spicy globe is another dwarf basil variety. True to its name it has a strong, spicy flavor with smaller leaves that are excellent served whole in soups salads and pasta.
It is also called Spicy Bush Basil and forms a tight clump when growing. The shape is similar to a dwarf boxwood with a rounded top.  This type of basil is an excellent choice for growing in containers.

Summerlong Basil is a dwarf variety developed by Burpee Gardens. It grows in tight, compact bushes making it an ideal basil for the container herb garden. Since it is a dwarf variety, it matures earlier than most basils in just 30-60 days. Summerlong is slow to bolt which means it will last longer in the summer garden before going to seed.
This is a nice all around basil, a great choice when you want a smaller variety to grow in your garden. Similar in taste to sweet basil, Summerlong can be used in pestos, sauces, and marinades.
In Summary – Basil Varieties
There are so many types of basil; it’s hard to choose just one.  Basil is one of the most loved culinary herbs both for its easy growing nature and variety in the kitchen.  Choose one or two of your favorite types so that you can experiment with the different tastes and textures.  Or choose a Basil collection with a few family favorites. Have fun gardening… then have fun cooking.

Cheers!  

Understanding Dehydration

Understanding Dehydration

With this heat wave, we should talk about the importance of staying hydrated. I would like to share what dehydration is and how it affects how our bodies function.

Water is absolutely necessary for survival! It makes up more than half of the human body, with every system depending on water to function properly.
Dehydration — or a lack of body water — has widespread repercussions.
While mild dehydration is easily remedied, severe dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to loss of consciousness, organ failure or even death.

What Is Dehydration?
Water is constantly leaving your body, mostly through sweat, urine and stools. An adequate amount of water must be consumed to make up for this loss.
Dehydration occurs when more water is leaving the body than coming in. It can be caused by either a lack of fluid intake or excessive fluid loss.
Here are some of the common causes of dehydration:
* Vigorous exercise: Intense exercise leads to fluid loss through sweat. If fluids are not replaced by drinking water, you can become dehydrated.
* Exposure to heat: Heat can cause you to lose fluid through sweat. You may become dehydrated if you don’t drink extra water when it’s very hot outside.
* Vomiting and diarrhea: Vomiting and diarrhea both cause significant fluid loss that can lead to dehydration.
* Nausea: Many people don’t feel like eating or drinking when they are nauseated. It’s important to continue drinking water so you don’t become dehydrated.
* Burns or skin infections: Water can be lost through severe burns and skin infections.
* Diabetes: When blood sugar levels are high, the body increases urine production to eliminate sugar from the body. This can lead to dehydration if this loss is not matched with an increase in water consumption.
* Fever: A fever may contribute to fluid loss through sweating.
What is dehydration? : Dehydration occurs when more fluid is leaving the body than being consumed. Factors that decrease fluid consumption or increase fluid losses can contribute to dehydration.
1. Thirst
Thirst is a craving for fluid that serves as an automatic reminder to drink water.
It’s often the body’s first indicator that it needs more water.
Interestingly, your body is equipped with a complex system for regulating fluid balance. Even a small change in fluid balance can trigger a sensation of thirst.
For most people, drinking when they’re thirsty is an effective method for staying hydrated.
However, there are some situations in which thirst might not be a reliable indicator of hydration status.
For example, older people may need to consciously manage their fluid intake, as your sense of thirst tends to decline with age.
In addition, you may need to drink beyond simply satisfying your thirst if you are sweating profusely. For example, intense exercise and exposure to high temperatures can cause you to lose a large amount of water through sweat.
In these situations, you may need to drink additional water to stay hydrated.
Let me sum this up: Thirst is the body’s first indicator of dehydration. For most people, responding to thirst effectively prevents dehydration.


2. Changes in the Color or Amount of Your Urine
Your urine can tell you a lot about your hydration status, since it accounts for the majority of the fluid that leaves your body.
Thus, controlling the amount and composition of urine is one way in which the body is able to maintain proper fluid balance.
Urine, which is produced by the kidneys, consists of both water and waste products that your body needs to eliminate.
If you are dehydrated, the kidneys conserve water by concentrating urine. This allows waste to be eliminated while retaining water for important biological functions.
Interestingly, urine’s concentration affects its appearance. If you’re well hydrated, your urine should be a clear, pale yellow color and nearly odorless.
On the other hand, cloudy, dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration. A honey-yellow color may indicate mild dehydration, while a deep, amber-yellow color with a strong odor can signal severe dehydration.
In addition to controlling the concentration of urine, the kidneys can also conserve fluid by decreasing the amount of urine produced. In fact, if the body becomes severely dehydrated, the kidneys may stop making urine altogether.
However, urine output varies from person to person, so there is no set amount of urine you should be producing every day. If you notice a significant decrease in urine, you may be dehydrated.
Keep in mind that certain foods, medications and medical conditions can also influence the color and amount of urine. If your urine is consistently a color other than pale yellow, you should consult your doctor.
Basically….The color and amount of urine that your body produces are good indicators of your hydration status. Dark yellow urine or a low urine output are signs of dehydration.
3. Fatigue or Sleepiness
Fatigue or tiredness can have many different causes, but dehydration can be one of them.
Many studies have shown that dehydration causes fatigue and decreases endurance during exercise.
For this reason, drinking an adequate amount of water is particularly important during exercise.
However, you don’t have to be exercising to experience dehydration-related fatigue.
Mild dehydration, can cause feelings of fatigue and sleepiness during normal daily activities.
In a study of young, healthy women, water restriction for 24 hours caused sleepiness, confusion, fatigue and decreased alertness.
All of these symptoms improved when the women were allowed to freely drink water at the conclusion of the 24-hour period.
Another study in men found that a fluid loss amounting to 1.6% of their body weight significantly increased fatigue both at rest and during exercise.
This amount of fluid loss can easily occur during normal daily activities if you’re not drinking an adequate amount of fluid throughout the day.
You might need water more than a nap: Fatigue or sleepiness can be a sign of dehydration. Drinking water may boost your energy and help you feel more alert.


4. Headaches
Dehydration may trigger headaches or migraines in some people.
One study found that a fluid loss of 1.4% of body weight caused headaches and moodiness in healthy women.
Another study found similar results in men. Water restriction for 37 hours, which resulted in a 2.7% fluid loss, led to headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Fortunately, evidence shows that headaches caused by dehydration can be relieved by drinking water.
In one small study, all but one of 34 people who experienced a dehydration-related headache found relief from drinking water.
In fact, drinking water provided headache relief within 30 minutes for 22 out of 34 people, while 11 other participants found relief within three hours.
Keep in mind that there are many different types of headaches, and they are not all caused by a lack of hydration.
Nevertheless, a headache may be a sign that your body needs more water.
Summary: Dehydration can cause headaches. In most cases, drinking water can resolve a dehydration-related headache.
5. Changes in Skin Elasticity
Dehydration can cause changes to the appearance and texture of your skin.
Your skin is made up of approximately 30% water, which is responsible for its fullness and elasticity.
Healthy, well-hydrated skin will return to its normal shape after being pulled and stretched. This elastic nature of skin is known as skin turgor.
On the other hand, when the body is dehydrated, fluid is pulled away from the skin and diverted to major organs to keep them functioning properly. This shift of fluid away from the skin causes it to lose its elasticity.
To test the elasticity of your skin, pinch your skin between your thumb and your forefinger.
If you are well hydrated, your skin should snap back immediately after being released. If it takes a half a second or more for your skin to return to its shape, you may be dehydrated.
In addition, a lack of fluid in the skin can cause dryness and make skin feel cool and clammy to the touch.
Your skin and dehydration: Decreased skin turgor, or elasticity, is a sign of dehydration. Skin that is dry, cool and clammy may also indicate dehydration.
6. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps may be a sign of dehydration. Cramps are particularly common when dehydration is caused by excessive sweating.
Interestingly, sweating can result in a significant loss of both fluid and sodium, which is an electrolyte that plays a role in muscle contractions.
Thus, when fluid and sodium become depleted, muscles sometimes contract involuntarily. This is known as a muscle cramp!
For this reason, adequate hydration is especially important during strenuous exercise or exercise in high temperatures.
Basically : Fluid and sodium depletions can lead to muscle cramps. Drinking water is particularly important during strenuous exercise.
7. Decrease in Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be a symptom of dehydration.
Dehydration lowers the volume of blood in the body, which lowers the pressure on artery walls.
Interestingly, low blood pressure might make you feel light-headed or dizzy when you go from lying down to standing up.
That’s because your heart has to pump faster and harder to get blood to the brain when there is less fluid in the body. When you stand up, it may take a few seconds for blood to get to the brain from the lower limbs.
What’s more, low blood pressure can make you feel weak and tired.
Nevertheless, a small drop in blood pressure is relatively harmless and usually remedied by drinking water.
On the other hand, severe dehydration can lead to dangerously low blood pressure. Symptoms like blurred vision, nausea and fainting could indicate very low blood pressure that requires medical attention.
Your take away: Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure, which might make you feel light-headed, weak and tired. Severe dehydration can cause dangerously low blood pressure that requires medical attention.
8. Rapid Heart Rate or Heart Palpitations
Dehydration can cause a rapid heart rate or heart palpitations. Palpitations give you the feeling that your heart is jumping or skipping a beat.
Interestingly, these abnormalities are a result of the heart attempting to compensate for the lack of fluid in the body.
When there’s not enough fluid in your body, it decreases the volume of blood in your blood vessels. Your body then works hard to deliver enough blood to your organs by increasing its heart rate, pumping blood more quickly throughout your body.
When this happens, you might feel your heart racing, fluttering or pounding extra hard.
Fortunately, in most cases of dehydration, this increase in heart rate effectively makes up for the low blood volume. Even with less blood pumping through the body, the organs and tissues are able to receive what they need.
However, as dehydration becomes more severe, the heart becomes less effective at compensating for the lack of fluid. If the heart is unable to get blood to the organs, they will eventually shut down.
Keep in mind that dehydration is not the only condition that affects heart rate. Rapid heart rate or palpitations can also indicate a more serious medical condition.
That being said, if your heart rate does not return to normal after drinking water, you should consult a medical professional.
What you need to know: A lack of fluid in the body decreases blood volume. The heart makes up for the lack of blood volume by working harder and faster to pump blood throughout the body.
9. Irritability or Confusion
Dehydration can have a significant effect on brain function.
Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can cause irritability and decreased brain function.
A few studies found that a 1–2% loss of body fluid causes symptoms, such as anxiety, moodiness, difficulty concentrating and a decline in short-term memory.
Furthermore, brain function can deteriorate significantly as dehydration becomes more severe. Severe dehydration can cause confusion and incoherence.
In fact, confusion and even delirium are common symptoms among older adults who are dehydrated. Older adults are particularly susceptible to becoming dehydrated due to their sense of thirst declining with age.
Conversely, drinking plenty of water has a positive effect on mental clarity and brain function. In fact, both children and adults have been found to perform tasks better when they are well hydrated.
In one study, children who were given additional water to drink had improved short-term memory and performed better in school.
Overall, it appears that hydration status can have a significant impact on mental performance.
Water and your brain summed up: Dehydration can negatively affect brain function and cause symptoms like moodiness, anxiety, decreased concentration and confusion.
10. Serious Complications and Organ Failure
Severe dehydration can lead to very serious complications.
Every organ in the body requires fluid to function properly. If dehydration becomes critical, organs will begin to shut down.
In fact, a severe loss of body fluid can lead to shock, which is a potentially fatal condition.
Shock occurs when the volume of blood becomes so low that the brain and other organs are not able to receive the oxygen they need.
Moreover, shock can cause complications like loss of consciousness, brain damage, kidney failure and heart attack. If shock is not treated immediately, it will result in death.
That being said, shock is a rare consequence of dehydration that only occurs with an extreme loss of body water. It is most likely to come about when fluid is lost through trauma, severe burns or prolonged vomiting and diarrhea.
Dehydration and death in a nutshell: Extreme dehydration can cause shock and organ failure. This level of dehydration can be fatal if not treated immediately.
How to Prevent Dehydration
The key to preventing dehydration is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, along with other beverages like unsweetened coffee and tea.
Interestingly, water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables also contribute to hydration.
However, there’s no magic amount of fluid you should drink every day to stay hydrated.
Fluid requirements vary from person to person and are affected by activity level, amount of sweat and climate.


Nevertheless, here are some tips to stay hydrated:
* Drink when you are thirsty: For most people, thirst is a reliable indicator that your body needs water. If you feel thirsty, drink water.
* Drink plenty of water before exercising: It’s important to be properly hydrated before you start exercising, particularly if you are going to be active in the heat.
* Replace fluids lost through sweat: If you sweat a lot, you will need to drink extra water to replace lost fluids. In this case, you may need to drink more than your thirst demands.
* Keep tabs on the color of your urine: The color of your urine is a good indicator of your hydration status. Drink enough water so that your urine maintains a pale yellow color.
* Replace fluids lost through vomiting or diarrhea: Sip on liquids or ice chips if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. If you are unable to keep fluids down for more than 24 hours, seek medical attention.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: In order to prevent dehydration, drink when you are thirsty and replace fluids lost through sweat or illness.
The Bottom Line
Symptoms of dehydration range from thirst, in the case of mild dehydration, to organ failure when dehydration is severe.
While most cases of dehydration can be easily remedied by drinking water, more severe dehydration will likely require medical attention.
Drinking plenty of fluids can prevent dehydration and its side effects.
Furthermore, staying properly hydrated may have additional benefits, such as boosting your mood, fighting fatigue and improving memory and concentration.

….would you like to learn more about dehydration and living a healthy life? Check these helpful articles out!
* Fluid balance and endurance exercise performance.
Review article
Cheuvront SN, et al. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003
* Dehydration and endurance performance in competitive athletes.
Review article
Goulet ED, et al. Nutr Rev. 2012Full text
* Fluid and electrolyte balance in ultra-endurance sport.
Review article
Rehrer NJ, et al. Sports Med. 2001
* Hydration and physical performance.
Review article
Murray B, et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007
* Hydration and muscular performance: does fluid balance affect strength, power and high-intensity endurance?
Review article
Judelson DA, et al. Sports Med. 2007
* Thermoregulation and marathon running: biological and environmental influences.
Review article
Cheuvront SN, et al. Sports Med. 2001
* Fluid-electrolyte balance during labor and exercise: concepts and misconceptions.
Review article
Armstrong LE, et al. Int J Sport Nutr. 1999
* Fluid and electrolyte supplementation for exercise heat stress.
Review article
Sawka MN, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000Full text
* Fluids and hydration in prolonged endurance performance.
Review article
Von Duvillard SP, et al. Nutrition. 2004Full text
* Fluid and electrolyte losses during tennis in the heat.
Review article
Bergeron MF, et al. Clin Sports Med. 1995
Enjoy this sunshine and summer! Now that you how why…. Drink your water and stay hydrated!

Xxo, Stacy

A 10-Minute Yoga Sequence to Jump-Start Your Day

A 10-Minute Yoga Sequence to Jump-Start Your Day

A quick sequence to help you wake up and start your day productively.

Cat-Cow Pose
Come onto your hands and knees, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Begin to move your spine in a rhythmic motion: With every inhalation, arch your back and lift your sitting bones and chest into Cow; with every exhalation, round your back and tuck your chin and pelvis into Cat.

Table Top, variation
From all fours, lift your belly in toward your spine. Extend your right leg and left arm. Bend your right leg and take hold of your foot with your left hand. Kick your foot into your hand as you begin to twist and open your chest into a backbend. Try gazing up. This pose creates heat, challenges your balance, and gently warms up your spine. Repeat on the other side.

Knee-to-Nose Pose
From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, lift your right leg up high behind you, then round your spine as you draw knee to chest. Keep your pelvis low and round your upper spine toward the sky. Hug your right thigh to your chest and knee to your nose. Keep pressing the floor with your hands. Return to Downward Dog and then repeat with the left leg.

Flip Dog
From Downward Dog, lift your right leg and arm and pivot on your left foot. Spin your torso and hips open to the ceiling, and lower your right foot down to the inside of your left foot. Reach your right arm toward the wall behind you. Keep your feet parallel to each other, pressing firmly into the floor. Return to Downward Dog and do Flip Dog on the other side.

Vasisthasana
Un-flip your Dog and roll your heels to the right. Shift your weight into your right hand and the outer edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right. Fire up your thigh muscles; press your feet and hand down as you lift your hips. Extend your left arm to the ceiling. (If this is too intense, you can lower your bottom knee to the floor.) Return to Downward Dog and repeat on the left.
See alsoVasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Make healthy choices . 

~ Stacy 

10 Benefits of Drinking Water

10 Benefits of Drinking Water

 

1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue

Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!

2. Promotes Weight Loss

Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!

3. Flushes Out Toxins

Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

4. Improves Skin Complexion

Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!

5. Maintains Regularity

Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.

6. Boosts Immune System

A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.

7. Natural Headache Remedy

Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.

8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains

Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.

9. Puts You In A Good Mood

When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!

10. Save Money!

Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s still cheaper than anything else you can order.

Cleansing and Detoxing Naturally

Cleansing and Detoxing Naturally


Summer  is here! As the weather gets warmer, many of us start to think about wearing our bathing suits and getting into better shape! We start to hear about detox diets, supplements, and various cleansing programs.
So, you might be asking, “What’s the difference between detoxing and cleansing?” They really are two different things and can I do it naturally? YES YOU CAN!
Cleansing vs. Detoxing
Cleansing supports the body inside and out through healthy eating which provides the micronutrients, phytochemicals, and other nutrients your body needs to build, repair, and rejuvenate.
Detoxing on the other hand is usually done by taking a supplement, restricting something your diet, or taking some other temporal measure. It helps remove waste products such as chemicals and toxins which can cause harm while circulating in your body or being stored in tissues.
However, the results may be limited due to human nature. If we go back to our usual habits after a detox, we’ll return to an unhealthy build-up of waste products.
Why Should I Cleanse?
Both cleansing and detoxing are important. Both can help alleviate poor energy levels, anger and irritability, excess fat storage, and insomnia as well as several other unpleasant conditions.
“The results may be limited due to human nature.”
But again, the results of detoxing are short-lived without changes that support our wellness. That’s where cleansing comes in.
It’s really about eating well and periodically putting our focus there. Many people like to do a cleanse when seasons change, usually the spring and/or fall.

A good way to get started with cleansing your body is by supporting your body’s natural detoxification and immune systems by eating plenty of greens and drinking plenty of water. I thought you might enjoy this easy recipe to help you get started:
A Ten Minute Mediterranean Salad
Did you know …. Eating greens helps cleanse your body! This easy quick salad is a favorite if mine.
1 bunch mixed greens ½ cup fresh basil, ripped unless you prefer chopped.
1 cup grape tomatoes ½ red onion, chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled or sliced
¼ cup cold pressed olive oil
2 Tbsp vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
Add greens to a medium bowl. Top with remaining ingredients and toss.
You can always add leftover chicken or salmon. (Or quickly broil chicken and add to salad).
Health Benefits:
Greens – Just get these in – they are the best thing you can eat!
Kalamata olives – monounsaturated fat source that protects against inflammation and aging of cells!
Feta cheese – protein and calcium source