Spruce Up Your Diet with the Freshest Spring Finds
By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger
When you think springtime the first thing that may pop in to your mind is blooming flowers in bright colors, but spring also brings another great batch of fresh fare: produce!
Asparagus, chard, beets, strawberries, cherries and kale (just to name a few of our favorites) are in season and plentiful, but now what to do with them? Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate all of the best spring produce items in to your healthy diet this season. If you are interested in ways you can incorporate spring produce into a nutritional plan VIDA Fitness offers nutritional counselling. For more information please contact Cat Taylor.
Drink your greens – One of the easiest ways to fit in a couple vegetable servings for the day is to drink them. Whether it’s for breakfast, a mid-day snack or for post-workout fuel, a smoothie is a great way to blend in some greens like kale, spinach or chard. The best part is if you’re averse to the thought of drinking something with vegetables in it you usually can’t even taste them. If you’re looking to add more fiber to your diet and increase your overall energy levels, smoothies are the way to go. Other spring vegetables like beets and carrots are also easy to add to the mix in a fresh pressed juice, which is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Make salads your new lunch go-to – Not only are all the salad base items in season, but also a ton of the best toppings. When building your salad take your pick of fresh arugula, chard, spinach and other mixed greens for the roughage. Then add several in-season toppings like carrots, broccoli, radishes, beets, asparagus and peas to add some color. All that’s left is drizzling on light dressing to bring it all together. Not only are the flavor and texture combinations endless, but salads can also be prepped in advance for the whole week so it’s as easy as grab and go.
Healthy and Easy Snacks – No one is impervious to the mid-day snack craving. Usually it hits around 3 or 4 p.m. and instead of reaching for high-sugar snacks to keep you going, try an easy-to-fix fresh snack that will not only be healthier, but also will stick with you until dinner time. Some of the easiest things to snack on, like navel oranges and apricots, need no preparation at all. If you are looking for something a little more fancy, try baking some kale chips or slicing up thin pieces of sweet potatoes to roast. By putting in a little effort to pre-plan healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, you’ll be left feeling lighter and satisfied instead of ravenous.
Satiate Your Sweet Tooth – We all know that part of sustaining a healthy diet is balance, so our springtime produce tips wouldn’t be complete without some healthy-alternative dessert options, right? While cherries and strawberries need no added help with being absolutely delicious, melting some dark chocolate for dipping makes these spring items a treat. Making a mixed berry salad with sliced strawberries, blueberries and a small dollop of Cool Whip is also enough to satisfy a craving.