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Healthy Lifestyles that Last Blog

Get Back into the Swing of Spring

It was a long winter and many of us may be experiencing some lingering weight gain from the holidays or others may have made some resolutions that didn't pan out but there's no reason to despair! Spring is a time of renewal and the perfect time to revive yourself and your overall well-being. Here are 5 easy ways to live light and travel light as you get back into the swing of spring.

  1. Ditch the sugar-sweetened beverages. Yes, those specialty coffee drinks are comforting during the cold months but winter is over so opt for an energizing, antioxidant-rich drink that will keep you feeling your best at work and all day. Try this Orange-Ginger Tea that tastes great hot or iced. Mix together: 12 oz prepared green tea, 1 T honey, half of 1 orange (peeled and muddled), 1 inch of fresh ginger- sliced. This is my go-to drink if I ever feel a cold coming on!
  2. Snack to maximize nutrients. Snacks don't have to be "bad" for you…they can actually help you meet those dietary guidelines for optimal health. If you don't get enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains during mealtimes then have some healthy snacks on hand for the mid-afternoon grumbles. Some 100-calorie snack ideas for work and home include: heart-healthy nuts and dried fruit, banana with almond butter, chips and salsa/guacamole, carrots and hummus, avocado and banana smoothie.
  3. Be mindful about your food choices when eating out. Do you eat out every day or even twice a day? If so, you could be getting too much fat, sodium and sugar in your diet. Make informed choices and check out the menu's nutritional information which can usually be found online or in the store. Some restaurants may even have a "lighter side" menu so you can enjoy eating out, minus the guilt. Better yet…make it yourself; it will probably taste better anyway.
  4. Eat local and seasonal produce. Nothing tastes better than a home-grown tomato. Food in general tastes better when picked at its peak which is why local produce is so popular. It will also be more nutritious since transportation and long storage times can deplete some of those essential vitamins and minerals. Luckily, farmers' market season is right around the corner so you can soon enjoy those long-awaited spring greens.
  5. Grow your own and plan to preserve. Think about what you and your family like to eat during the cold months and try to incorporate that into your gardening plans. For example, I like to use my own dried herbs and hot pepper flakes so last year I grew several hot pepper plants in addition to a variety of herbs. I was then able to dry those hot peppers (sliced into rings) and then grind them using a mortar and pestle for when I needed a little extra kick in my meals. These also make great gifts for the spicy-food-lovers in your family.