4 Spring Healthy Eating Tips
Wherever you live, spring has officially arrived, and summertime, shorts, and swimsuits will be coming soon. Instead of waiting until the weather gets hot, begin now by lightening up, in more ways than one.
1. Eat for the Season
A great way to get your body ready for the spring is to eat foods that are naturally in season during spring and one of the best ways to get them are though farmers markets. There are great online resources to find the one nearest you, like Local Harvest.
If you can't make it to a farmer’s market, there's a delivery service called Farm Fresh to You that delivers a selection of organic fruits and veggies right to your doorstep. I love this service.
Whether you're ordering at a restaurant or shopping for food to cook at home, choose produce in season. For example, fruit such as strawberries, apricots, cherries, lemons and avocadoes are all spring and summer fruits. Also, vegetables such as arugula, asparagus, chard, beets, carrots, artichokes, cabbage, spinach and leeks are great veggies to add to your diet this time of year. Here is a seasonal produce chart that can be of help.
2. Lighten Your Meals
Blame it on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day, but it's not uncommon to add a layer of insulation to your waist or hips during the winter months.
Carb cravings are common during cold months and often lead to a vicious cycle of wanting more and more. Now is the time to break the cycle of eating white flour and sugar-laden foods. Fill up on healthy veggies to increase your fiber and nutrient density and help reduce your calorie. Add lots of green veggies to your diet like kale, spinach, chard and salad greens in the form of smoothies and fresh juices. Basing your meals around green veggies will help crowd out the foods that don’t serve you.
Measure the amount of healthy fats in your meals. Remember, most oils contain about 100 calories per tablespoon, so try not to drown your meals in oils and heavy sauces. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons max per meal. The same goes for nut butters, avocado and coconut oil. All of these are good for you, however consuming large portions, such as a bowl of delicious guacamole, is not good for your waistline unless you are a triathlete, long distance runner or Olympic weightlifter.
3. Challenge Yourself
I decided to challenge myself to a #30DaysofVitamix Challenge, where I had to use my blender every day for 30 consecutive days. That meant that for one month at least one of my meals contained a homemade, nutrient dense food everyday. I would make green smoothies filled with chia or flax seeds in the morning or blended veggie soups in the evening, like my Blended Broccoli Basil Pea Soup or my Butternut Squash Soup with curried shrimp. Not only was it a month of delicious healthy food, but it helped me to maintain my girlish figure even if I skipped a workout or two. I learned that I could make one batch of soup and eat it for three to four days in a row.
Create your own challenge of eating light. If 30 days sounds like a lot, try just one week of using a soup, smoothie or salad for one meal per day.
4. Lighten Up Your Attitude
Spring represents renewal, rebirth and growth. Energetically, we tend to get frozen in habits and patterns that keep us from expanding and progressing gracefully through life. By focusing energy into lightening up and stretching our minds outside of our comfort zones, we can learn to adopt new healthy attitudes towards people, our bodies and our health.
Here are a few questions to get your creative juices flowing:
What can you let go of and develop a new attitude towards?
What relationship can you renew and inject life into?
What nasty attitude can you lose in order to grow spiritually?
Leave a comment if you have any thought-provoking questions you would like to add.
Jennifer Cassetta is a third degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She loves kale, chocolate and wine. She loves to punch, kick, lift weights, meditate, and dress up in stilettos. She empowers people to be strong, safe and sexy through nutrition, fitness and self-defense, and you can read more at www.jennifercassetta.com.