Spring is almost here! We can feel the warmth of the sunshine, the snow rapidly melts away, the days are longer and yet, many of us cannot enjoy these early signs of spring. The short and cold winter days took their toll on our general well being. We feel heavy, fatigued and our driving force is gone. Sounds all too familiar?
Tips for resetting your diet and getting your vitality back!
Our bodies are in tune with the change of seasons, so naturally we crave less for starchy foods, warm stews and hearty soups, which are so essential for the cold winter days. At this time of year, we need to focus on the energizing nutrient-dense lighter foods based on seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Start your changes with eating less grain-based food such as pastas, pizzas, breads and pastries. Reduce your red meat consumption and replace it with lean poultry, fish and eggs. You can also add some plant-based sources of protein such as beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds.
Spring brings us a greater selection of fresh produce, starting with early spring vegetables such as spinach, radishes, green onions, asparagus and little later green peas, dandelion greens and other green leafy veggies. Eating them regularly provides a tremendous boost to our health and vitality through the various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients that they harbour. The fibre in veggies and fruits helps balancing our blood sugar, promotes bowel regularity and supports the body's natural detoxification processes. And that's not all! Fresh produce is loaded with natural plant enzymes that help us breaking down the food we eat. There are many ways how to enjoy veggies: steamed, grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, cooked in soups, etc. We also need to eat them in their raw form, in salads, in veggie rolls, or in delicious smoothies or juices, combined with fruits.
Six ways to create a lighter and refreshing meal plan in spring.
1. Ditch the morning toast and start your day with a fresh smoothie! Even the busiest person can whip up a delicious grab-and-go smoothie from fresh or frozen veggies and fruits, a source of protein (dairy- or non-dairy-based milk, yogurt, protein powder) and a source of healthy fats (nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, coconut oil, flax oil, etc.) in five minutes or less. You can also add some superfoods (e.g. fresh or dry turmeric, ginger, spirulina, chlorella, goji berries) for increased nutrient-content.
2. Overnight oats and chia breakfasts are great on-the-go meal options too as you can make them the night before. If you are meal planning for the week ahead, you can prepare a few servings of overnight oat and chia breakfasts and keep them in the fridge in single-serving size jars. Download my free spring booklet for recipe ideas!
3. Replace your potato- and pasta-based sides with vegetable dishes such as the Asparagus, Cucumber & Feta Salad in my recipe booklet. The more colourful your salad is the more nutritious it is as those beautiful colours are provided by individual health-boosting phytonutrients.
4. For snack time, enjoy fresh fruits or veggie sticks with hummus, guacamole or nut butter. Would you believe that celery sticks and peanut butter make a tasty combination?
5. Challenge yourself to go meatless for one day every week! You can find yummy recipes in my recipe booklet such as the Peach and Sweet Potato Salad or the Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad.
6. Make sure your body is properly hydrated with clean fresh water! Avoid/reduce your consumption of soda, store-bought fruit or vegetable juices, or various other flavoured drinks. Water is the essential fluid that our body needs for preventing dehydration and subsequent headache, fatigue, weight gain, faulty detoxification, weakened immunity, even brain fog.
Need more help?
To assist you in implementing these diet changes I put together a free recipe booklet with delicious spring-inspired meal ideas. Sign up here get yours! If you need further help with meal planning for certain health conditions or for specific food sensitivities, customized meal plans with detailed recipes and shopping lists are also available as part of my nutritional counselling services. Following a step-by-step meal plan tailored to your needs can save you a lot of time and will put you on the right path towards healing. Contact me for more information!