Summer is nearly here! Grocery stores are full of fresh fruits and veggies. Brooke and I have eaten strawberries every day for the past few weeks- I love it when they are in season and ON SALE! Last weekend for our church pot luck we dipped those strawberries into chocolate for an easy treat that everyone loved, and it was something she could easily help me make. Did get a bit messy but it was worth it. There are so many desserts you can make with fruit that work even for a light meal. This week I made fruit parfaits with Brooke’s PreK class and I enjoyed the leftovers for my dinner last night (that sounded much better to me than cooking something after a long meeting, and Brooke had already eaten, so she had one for dessert!) We mixed fat free/sugar free pudding mix with yogurt to make a pudding, and then we layered it with fruit and crushed graham crackers (but I subbed in toasted nuts on mine- delicious!!). It’s the perfect time to make new wellness goals or perhaps recommit to some of those New Year’s resolutions that may have fallen by the wayside. But no matter what goals you choose for yourself or when you plan to start, set yourself up for success! Here are some great ideas adapted from an article by Natalie Menza, MS, RD on the Fruit and Veggies: More Matters website.
3 Ways to Help Reach Your Goals
1. Be as specific as possible! “I will bring a pair of sneakers with me to work and spend half of my lunch break walking around the building 3 out of 5 days.” This makes the goal easier to stick to than “I will walk more.” Get outside now before it gets too hot! I find exercising on my lunch break to be an easy way to get it done.
2. Use measurable numbers, time frames and deadlines to help you stay on track. Pedometers and phone “apps” are a great way to see how much you are doing, and make you want to do more!
3. Start small, choosing just 1 or 2 goals at a time and keeping those goals realistic. Working to lose 1 pound per week is much less daunting than focusing on the 10 pounds you want to lose by summer.
6 Tips for Getting … and Staying … Healthy this Spring
1. Load up on fruits and veggies. Make a plan to try one new fruit or vegetable each week. Plan to enjoy them as snacks or incorporate them into your meals.
2. Gradually replace some of the salt you use with flavorful fresh herbs and lemon zest. It adds delicious flavor while still keeping meals healthy and low in sodium.
3. Add a salad prepared with leafy greens and plenty of fresh vegetables to the beginning of your meal to fill up on essential nutrients.
4. Wash, chop and portion healthy snacks, salads and sides for the whole week to save time. If I can “grab it and go” I will be much more likely to eat it!
5. Do a little spring cleaning — it keeps you up and moving throughout the day and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and organized living space!
6. Take a walk after dinner! Brisk, 15-20 minutes walks taken 30 minutes after eating help control blood sugar levels and aid with weight loss and maintenance.