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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From a smooch-loving doggo to a match made on Duolingo to an adorable daddy-daughter duet, this week's list of things that made us smile is bringing the joy.

man kissing dog, groom and bride, dad and baby girl smiling

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

I recently sat down with Rainn Wilson to talk about his book, "Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution," for the Upworthy Book Club, and one of the things we talked about was cynicism. We live in a world where it's so easy to be cynical, to toss up our hands and say, "People suck, so why bother?"

However, when we become cynical, we allow the negative forces in the world win. So what do we do instead?

Wilson posits that the opposite of cynicism isn't optimism, but joy. Optimism too easily becomes "toxic positivity," which is insensitive to the real difficulties people face. But as Wilson writes, joy "doesn't disregard the hard stuff. Joy knows that negativity is a part of life as well. Joy says that life is hard but there is a place you can go, a tool you can use. Joy is a force. A choice. Something that can be harnessed. A decision to be made."

There are lots of ways to foster joy in our lives, from being of service to others to spending time with loved ones to appreciating nature to finding wholesome reasons to smile and laugh.

Joy is powerful, and however small a measure of it this week's roundup provides, I hope it helps you battle away cynicism and offers some hope and peace to your soul.


1. Doggo makes it crystal clear that she wants allll the kisses.

Her communication couldn't be clearer even if she could talk.

2. You never know what a random act of kindness means to the person on the receiving end

"If it's on your heart to do something nice for someone, just do it." Words to live by.

3. Older skater holds younger skater's hand to help with a trick and his reaction when he lands it is priceless.

Skateboarding has really created such an awesome, supportive community. Read the full story here.

4. Two strangers met on Duolingo when he kept congratulating her on her progress. Now they're married.

What an adorable real-life meet cute!

5. Couple raises over $37,000 for a kid who came by their house looking for someone to befriend

@brennanray

Its takes 2 seconds to make someones day, you never know what people are going through until you get a chance to talk to them. This young man is well mannered, kind, and brave. So tiktok can we help shayden make some friends???#fyp #bekind #nobullying #love #kindness #letschangetheworld

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and to put yourself out there, especially when you've been bullied. This kiddo may not have found any kids his age at the Ray home, but he did find some kind neighbors who wanted to help him out and raised over $37,000 for him and his family in a GoFundMe. Read the full story here.

6. Dad and baby singing their ABCs together doesn't really get any cuter

That little finger. So precious.

7. Cat insists on human doing its makeup…kind of

Let's get this cat together with the chihuahua in the first video and see what happens.

8. Accidental speech-to-text is the absolute best, but especially when you're talking to a dog

"Got to poop, little poopster?"

9. A raucous piano solo turned into a rockin' dance party at the mall

Staged? Eh, perhaps. Fun and joyful to witness? Most definitely.

10. If you're baking in the July heat, take some cool inspiration from this happy polar bear

Are you feeling the joy? Would you like more of it? Get these smiley-worthy posts delivered to your inbox each week by signing up for our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

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Photo via iStock.

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