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Published: June 8, 2024

IIN Staff Picks: Summer Recipes and Summer Wellness Guide

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Healthy meal options to expand your summer menu and palate.

The mid-July sun brings intense heat, bluer skies, and a rejuvenated energy to the air. The longer daytime hours can inspire you to get active outdoors, spend more time soaking up the sun (safely!), and try out new foods and recipes in the kitchen that don’t necessarily require the stove or oven. Our Summer Wellness Guide details how you can stay active, integrate cleaner and vitamin-rich foods into your diet, and practice healthy skincare – all while making sure to stay cognizant of your overall health.

Summer is the perfect time to get creative and experiment with colorful ingredients and spices that not only taste delicious but can optimize your health! In addition to the recipes we’ve provided below, you can experiment with rice paper rolls, adding a pop of color and a heaping serving of vegetables to your table, or mix quintessential summer flavors for a cool, refreshing, and nutrition-packed snack.

Check out these staff-favorite summer recipes:

Pineapple and Cucumber Salad

Heather Freudenthal, Education

This salad is simple, fresh, and light and goes well as a side dish at summer gatherings or even just as a snack. It can also make a great alternative to salsa, whether you add it on top of chicken or use it as a dip. The salad appeals to many diets, including vegan, vegetarian, low-FODMAP, paleo, and Whole30.


  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (preferably not canned)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Handful chopped cilantro


  1. Toss all ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve cold!


Cucumber, Blueberry, and Feta Salad

Anne Greco, Student Success

Tip: Leave in fridge overnight as it tastes best the next day!



  • 2 cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber), chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional to taste: basil, mint, cilantro, or dill


  1. Combine cucumbers and blueberries in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add dressing and toss to coat completely.
  3. Let sit in fridge for at least one hour.
  4. After it rests, add in feta, salt, pepper, and herbs.
  5. Mix and enjoy.


Chili Lime Chicken (or Turkey) Burgers

Anna Glennon, Education

My family makes these Chili Lime Burgers at least once a week. At any given meal, there could be 5–10 of us, so we tend to cook for a crowd every night and live off the leftovers (if there are any). They’re lightened-up burgers because they’re ground chicken or turkey, but they’re so quick and easy to throw on the grill.


  • 2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Fold the ingredients until thoroughly mixed. The meat will look like it has little bits of confetti in it!
  2. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill burgers for about 3–4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove burgers from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Top with some guacamole or avocado slices!


Curried Kale Slaw

Janet Verney, Education

This salad is super yummy, a great leftover, and a nutritional powerhouse with all its cruciferous veggies! It is one of my go-to salads for potlucks and always gets rave reviews. It can be made the morning of the event and lasts up to two days.


  • 3/4 cup vegan, soy-free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) organic veggie or broccoli slaw
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) baby kale or large kale leaves, chopped or torn off stems
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup raisins or fruit juice–sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup cilantro or parsley



  1. Whisk together mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, curry powder, sea salt, ground cumin, and onion powder in large serving bowl.
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  3. Enjoy!


Download the Summer Wellness Guide today to explore more ways to keep your health goals on track throughout the longer, sunnier days.


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