The Happy Coconut
 
The sun is beautiful: It allows our plants to grow, gives us much needed vitamin D, and makes people happier in general; However, because of the depletion of the ozones protective layers, the rays of the sun can be quite harmful to us if we aren't cautious. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun can cause burns, skin cancer, and premature aging. In the winter, a moisturizer with sunscreen is enough for incidental sun exposure, but as summer is approaching, a much stronger shield is needed to protect from the strong rays of the sun. Doctors do reccommend you get about 15 minutes unprotected exposure to get vitamin D, but never ever on your face.
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As for me, I wear SPF 30 on my face, ears, and neck religiously, but only wear it on my body if I'm going to be outside all day, as a little sun from walking around from work to home is good for you. I used to be a crazy tanner, but as I've gotten older, I've realized skin cancer is not worth the risk! I also get a lot of people thinking I'm 10 years younger than I am, compared to girls who are younger than me looking older due to smoking, tanning, and just not taking care of themselves. I use an oil free broad spectrum sunscreen on my face every single day (I like Cliniques Sun SPF 30 Face Cream with antioxidants, which also comes in SPF 15 and 50). Sunglasses also help protect your eyes from the sun, as well as help prevent wrinkles and crows-feet around the eye area.

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click to purchase @ sephora
One thing a lot of people forget about but should always remember is their lips! Many lip balms and glosses come with a built-in SPF that you can reapply throughout the day while you're out. I like Diors Lip Glow. While it is expensive for a lip balm, it moisturizes, protects, and gives lips a subtle natural glow. It is definetely one of my summer must-haves!


For the beach and other times you will be outside for long periods of exposure, a body sunscreen that is waterproof is perfect. I like
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen Lotion which comes in many SPF numbers, and doubles as a moisturizer as well. Since I put on lotion daily anyways, it doesn't add an extra step which makes it more likely that I'll put it on when needed. 

Don't forget to protect yourself from the inside as well. Eat a healthy diet and lots of vitamin C, which aids in skin cell repair if you do happen to burn. Lycopene, an ingredient in tomatoes, has been shown to help protect skin from the sun from the inside. Genuine Health has a multi vitamin with lycopene and other skin essential antioxidants included called Multi+ daily glow. The sun is amazing and makes us feel awesome, be responsible and the sun will treat you well.

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*Please note I am not a professional and all advice I give is from what I read and from my own general experience, and is not intended to replace professional advice. You should consult a doctor or dermatologist if you have specific suncare questions.
 
 
*Note:This is not a vegetarian recipe

I, by far, am not a chef. My idea of dinner is toast with peanut butter or instant rice; lately though, I've been trying to eat a healthier diet, so I've had to learn to cook - a little. I will never be the person who spends hours in the kitchen, so whatever I make has to be simple, healthy, and quick. I always loved my moms homemade meatballs, so I decided to try and make a healthier version of them, and came up with the idea of vegetable meatballs-hiding a serving of veggies inside meatballs. A  great idea for those moms who can't get their kids to eat vegetables: hiding them in a delicious meatball!

Now, as I said, I'm not a chef, so all amounts of ingredients can vary, just do what feels right to you. I use about a cup of finely chopped veggies per 10 kg of beef.

What you'll need:
~Extra lean ground beef (or turkey, whichever you prefer)
~Fresh broccoli, an onion, a carrot, green peppers, zucchini, dill pickles( gives it a great taste, but not neccessary), and any other vegetable you'd like to add.
~Extra virgin olive oil.
~Garlic spice or powder, sea salt, pepper, and steak spice if you wish.
~Tomatoe sauce (store bought is fine, I like the garlic kind)

Step 1
~After cleaning vegetables, chop up a small amount into very small pieces. You can even grate them if you want them to be more invisible.( If using pickles, only use about one-you don't want it to overpower the meatballs, just add nice flavour) Remember, you'll want about a cup per 10 kg. The tips of the broccolis can just be cut off so you can put just the "tree parts" in, which makes it easier to hide.
~Put lean beef in a bowl and mix in spices and then vegetables. Mix together with hands.
~Letting this mixture sit covered in the fridge over night or at least for a while allows the flavours to blend, but is not neccessary.

Step 2
~Have tomatoe sauce simmering in a pot. Add a small amount of chili flakes if you like spicy sauce. (Bonus: chili flakes boost metabolism).
~Roll beef mixture into medium sized meatballs. I usually get about 10 meatballs out of this.
~Fry meatballs in a pan with a tsp of extra virgin olive oil until not pink in the middle. Transfer them into the tomatoe sauce and let them sit and gently simmer in there for about 20 minutes to soak in the taste.
~Let cool and serve! Add parmasan cheese if you'd like. Also great to freeze to reheat on days you don't want to cook. For an extra health boost, serve on spahgetti squash, or can be eaten alone or on pasta.

This recipe is just a basis and can be modified to suit your tastes, but I thought it was an easy and delicious way to get a serving of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables all in one for people who hate cooking huge meals, don't love vegetables, or don't have a ton of time to put balanced meals together.



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Enjoy!

 

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