By now you’ve probably forgotten about your New Year’s resolutions, right? It’s almost the middle of March, and the grand thoughts of getting fit or eating vegan have most likely disappeared from your mind. If that’s the case, why not consider giving your health goals a spring reboot? After all, summer is around the corner, and before you know it, you’ll be frolicking on the beach in a bathing suit! In order to get our guts back on track, I reached out to Annie B. Kay, the lead nutritionist at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, who has been an advocate for science-based mind-body health for nearly 20 years. How can you be healthy while Cadbury Creme Eggs are waiting for you at the end of every grocery store aisle? Here are Kay’s five tips for eating well during spring.
- Indulge in seasonal fruits and vegetables. Adults need five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so head to the farmers market and stock up on what is fresh and ripe. Apricots, asparagus, peas, radishes, artichokes, strawberries, and green beans are some of spring’s most beloved produce.
- Try ghee. The butter substitute is having a moment. According to Kay, “enjoying a modest amount of high quality dairy like ghee adds flavor and health to cooking. Studies show grass-fed cow's milk is richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA (a beneficial fatty acid). The key is balance and moderation: Have a little ghee, or healthy plant fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, or extra-virgin olive oil, as part of your whole-foods plant-based daily diet.”
- Spring for sprouts. Kay recommends growing your own sprouts at home. They only take about five days to grow into something edible and don’t need sunlight to sprout.
- Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat. Focus on the sensory aspect of eating. Kay says that “when practiced regularly, mindful eating has been shown to help people transform their relationship with food and make better choices.”
- Cook. Make one new whole-food, plant-based recipe per week. Choose healthy food options that you love. When you cook your own food, you have total control over what you are putting into your body.
Want the 411 on the topic of mindful eating? Read this book of the same name.
How do you change your diet for the better in spring?