I hope you're enjoying spring! I love this time of year. Yards green, flowers bloom and the barren trees come to life as the longer, warmer days allow for more outdoor activities and fresh air. With the change in season, I notice my mood improves, my energy rebounds and my diet changes. The Farmers market is overflowing with seasonal greens, herbs, carrots, strawberries, radishes, beets, peas, onions, artichokes and asparagus and the fish market is swimming in wild caught, fresh seafood all of which take center stage in my diet. These cleansing foods replace the heavier animal products and starches that comfort my family in the colder months and help us shed the weight of the winter. They also prepare our bodies for the anticipated heat of the summer and cooling, hydrating fruits and vegetables that are in season come June.
Does your diet change with the season? If not, I encourage it. Doing so will help ensure you're getting the freshest and most nutrient dense, whole foods available. So often we fall into a pattern of eating the same breakfast and lunch - grabbing the same fruit for snack or filling our salad with the same lettuce and vegetables despite the time of year. This can lead to boredom and nutritional deficiencies. Each whole food offers a different nutritional profile, most of which we need to remain healthy. Yes, almonds are wonderful for us but cashews, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts offer a host of different nutrients which are also necessary. Ditto for greens. Kale is loaded with Vitamins K and C and even calcium, but Swiss chard, arugula, collards, Mache and spinach also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for our health.
Taking advantage of the natural variety of whole foods each season will keep your taste buds tantalized and your body properly fed.
Below I've listed some easy swaps to help you eat lighter and healthier while effortlessly shedding the winter layers. Try my suggestions for a month and see if you don't notice a spring in your step, a sunnier disposition and a smaller waistline.