Spring is in the air full force and this time of year I love to clean out closets, cabinets and my garage. It is always necessary to clean out the old to make room for the new! Did you know that the most effective way to stay healthy is to clean out your refrigerator, pantry and freezer and eliminate the unhealthy foods and stock it with healthy food choices? This process will allow you to select something healthy next time you feel like snacking!
Items to have on hand for healthy eating include lean meats like chicken or turkey, canned tuna, hard cooked eggs or hummus. A fruit bowl on the counter could include some bananas, apples and pears or have cut up fruit in the refrigerator such as pineapple, berries or cantaloupe melon. Handy snacking items for vegetables include cut up peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery, small grape tomatoes and leaf lettuce, spinach or kale for salads. In the dairy section select high protein Greek yogurts and almond milk for smoothies which have fewer carbohydrates than regular milk. For healthy carbohydrates select better choices like oatmeal, quinoa, shredded wheat and high fiber crackers like Wasa or Triscuits and pitas or tortillas for sandwiches. I like Joseph’s brand for pitas and Mission gluten free tortillas for sandwiches.
By creating a micro-environment of health in your home and office you are on the road to creating better health for yourself and your loved ones! Here’s to a wonderful Spring & Memorial Day Weekend!
Broccoli is a cruciferous (Brassica family) vegetable and has anti-cancer properties. Nutrient-wise it has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K, folic acid and calcium. Steam until it is bright green and just tender. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a spritz of fresh lemon juice. Broccoli is also delicious with the herb tarragon.
Green Beans contain carotenoid phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (these phytonutrients protect the eyes) which provide anti-inflammatory properties. They are a concentrated source of vitamin K and also vitamins A and C. Steam green beans for 5 minutes and dress them with a healthy Mediterranean dressing such as 3 T. olive oil, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 2 medium gloves of garlic (minced) and ground pepper.
Green Cabbage. This is a popular cruciferous vegetable (Brassica family) and ranges in color from light to dark green. You can select the best tasting cabbage by choosing heads that have a vibrant, bright color and are firm, heavy and dense. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K & C, folic acid, manganese and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Cutting cabbage thin (1/4 inch) slices and cooking it al dente for only 5 minutes is my secret for preventing the formation of smelly compounds often associated with cooking cabbage. Enjoy this holiday with some corned beef! The larger leaves can also be filled inside with herbs, cheese or even meat or rice, roll them up firmly and steamed.
Zucchini (green). This is one of my favorite vegetables. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, A & K, manganese, magnesium, potassium and folic acid. It can be sautéed for 3 minutes and served with a Mediterranean dressing or make a Cool Zucchini Salad by grating 2 medium zucchinis, 2 medium carrots and tossing this with 1 tsp. each chopped fresh mint and oregano. Then add pepper to taste and 3 T. extra virgin olive oil. For a creamy dressing add 1 cup of plain low fat yogurt. Yum!
Spring is almost here! It’s a time for rebirth and new growth. What new things are you growing in your life that will re-ignite your passion & energy? It is now time for that seasonal reboot. Take an internal inventory. Are you meeting your health goals, did you sign up for that new class, are you planning that vacation you have always wanted? It is time for those new projects & goals to take root. As you plan the NEW things remember to get rid of some of the “old” patterns or projects in your life. Your passion will be ignited and you will soar to a new height by reaching for something “new” this Spring