Laid Back Spring

Laid Back Spring

With the days getting warmer, longer and more relaxed, here are a few laid-back ideas for a healthier Spring.

Boost Your Berries

Blackberries, blueberries or strawberries – Just one cup a day will load you up on antioxidants and fiber.

Very Berry Fruit Salad

  • 2 cups of strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Whisk together honey and lemon and toss with fruit.  Serves 4

Pay Attention to Portion Sizes

  • A tennis ball or baseball = about 1 cup (or use your clenched fist as a rough estimate). Use this measurement for sides like potato, pasta or bean salads.  Stick to one cup of the more starchy sides.
  • Your cell phone = about 3 ounces meat. Use this measurement for meats like chicken, brisket or fish.
  • Your thumb = about 1 tablespoon. Use this measurement for dressings or spreads.  Choose reduced fat varieties when you can.

Plant an Herb Garden

Start your own herb garden.  Herbs are full of antioxidants and add lots of fresh flavor to your recipes.  Here are a few easy steps to set up your own herb garden, inside or out.

  • Pick Your Location – Any spot that gets about six hours of sun a day is good.  Even a sunny kitchen window would work.
  • Prepare – Loosen the soil in your location and plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon to prevent them from wilting in the sun.
  • Planting – Dig your holes twice the width of your new plant.  Space about 18” apart.
  • Label – A paint pen on smooth stones or bricks or a sharpie on wooden spoons are just a few fun ideas for your herb labels.

Bring Your own Dish to the Party

If you bring a healthy potluck dish, you know that you’ll have a healthy choice.

Cranberry Broccoli Salad

  • 1/4 cup finely-chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Combine mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients.  Stir with a whisk. Add red onion, broccoli, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving.

Get out and Play

Not all exercise has to be high energy.  Play horseshoes or your favorite outdoor game.  Throw a ball around with the kids.  Don’t hang out around the chips and dip, get outside and move.

Lisa Lewis…………………………………………………………………….lisa.lewis@fp4h.com

Lisa’s cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking and she provided recipes for 12 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to bring healthy cooking classes to low-income families. She is dedicated to bringing people together round the dinner table with healthy, delicious meals that are easy to prepare.