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Healthy Cooking Just in Time for a Fabulous Spring Break Body!

Spring Break is coming fast! The majority of us are heading down to the beach to have some fun in the sun, but let’s face it, college life isn’t exactly ideal for having the ideal body. Fall semester it’s okay to splurge and not pay attention to what we eat, but as soon as spring rolls around, we are counting calories like it’s nobody’s business. We all want to look great in our suits at the beach, or even just poolside when spring and summer roll around. Of course, everyone is beautiful in their own way, but it’s important to eat healthy in order to feel healthy and Spring Break approaching often reminds us of this rule. Here are a few recipes for tasty and fun meals that can help you achieve that Spring Break body you desire!
 
These chicken kabobs and chickpea salad are a delicious and nutritious combination, and they are sure to satisfy your hunger. Together they’re only 220 calories!
 
Chicken Kabobs and Chickpea Salad

Ingredients:
        1 cup plain yogurt
        2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
        kosher salt and black pepper
        1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
        1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
        1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
        2 stalks celery, sliced
        1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
        2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill

        2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Directions:
1.      Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high.
2.      In a shallow baking dish, combine the yogurt, garlic, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and
a.       ¼ teaspoon pepper.
3.      Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers and set them in the yogurt marinade, turning to coat. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes or overnight.
4.      Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onion, celery, parsley, oil, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
5.      Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook on a well-oiled grill or grill pan, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
 
To finish off this great meal, why not treat yourself with dessert?
You may be screaming, “STOP! Dessert? No Way?” but these popsicles are a cinch to make and are surprisingly healthy! Healthy eating is simpler than it seems. These gems are only 60 calories and give that meal the sweet kick that it needs.
 
Blueberry-Lavender Lemonade Popsicles

Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp culinary lavender
1 1/4 cups water, divided
3 Tbsp lemon juice (or juice of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Directions:
1.      Bring sugar, lavender, and 1/4 cup water to boil in saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
2.      Remove from heat and steep for at least 30 minutes.
3.      Combine remaining water with lemon juice.
4.      Strain lavender from sugar syrup, add syrup to lemon water, and mix well.
5.      Evenly distribute into ice-pop molds, filling each about three-quarters full.
6.      Drop several blueberries into each mold, until the liquid reaches the top.
7.      Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours.
 
Remember that eating healthy isn’t something that can be done on occasion. If you want to see results, as with anything else, it requires following through and continuing to stick with it. There are tons of healthy, easy recipes to choose from and it’s not as hard as it looks. Although it’s good to get that body you have been wanting, it’s important to eat healthy and treat your body well. Spring Break is often a time for vacations and eating out. Even when eating out, healthy choices are still an option. Don’t get sidetracked by those cupcakes and high-calorie funnel cakes that will be tempting you on your break. Indulgence isn’t bad if done on occasion, but if done in excess can be unhealthy and reverse the results you’ve worked so hard to attain.
 
Stay healthy!

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