5 Tips for a Healthy Spring

No matter how chaotic, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere. ~Sheryl Crow

5-tips-healthy-spring

What a winter it has been for so many of us.  In the Northeast, we had record breaking snowfall and cold. While I enjoy the Winter, I am ready for the transition to Spring.  In the last few weeks, I have seen how small changes can make a big impact. For example, my kids’ excitement when they saw the yard emerge from under the snow, or when I was driving home from work in the light instead of darkness.  While these are external changes, it’s helpful to realize that our bodies are adjusting as well and it is a good time to shift our daily routines to support our health.

  1. Bitter Spring Greens – Bitter greens (ie. arugula, dandelion, mustard, watercress, mizuna) are nutritional powerhouses.  They are packed with vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They help to detox the liver, aid digestion, and can help reduce cravings.  I have included a couple of recipes below to help get you started.
  2. Warm Water –  Starting your day with a mug of warm water and lemon is healing on many levels. It  helps flush out toxins, improve your digestion, and act as an overall body cleanse.  It also helps keep your sinuses hydrated, which can reduce symptoms as we approach allergy season.  I recommend drinking warm water throughout the day during this time of year to retain your warmth as the outside temperatures fluctuate.
  3. Break a sweat –  Exercise stimulates blood circulation and movement of the lymphatic system.  In addition, sweating releases toxins through your skin.  I suggest trying to move your body 4-7 times per week and taking hot baths and/or saunas if this resonates.
  4.  Breathing – I recommend taking at least a few minutes each day to sit and focus on your breath.  Turn off your phone, let go of your to-do list, and just take a few moments for yourself.  Allowing this focused time to inhale and exhale deeply can be very healing for your body and mind.
  5. Whole food – Spring is a good time to focus on eating whole foods.  Reduce or eliminate processed packaged food, additives, sugar, and salt.  The fewer ingredients, the better.  Increase fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs as they become more available this season.   Here are a few recipes to help you get started.

FRITTATA WITH SPRING GREENS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek or onion washed and chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 large bunch of spring greens (arugula, chard, spinach, or dandelion greens) washed and chopped
8 eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley
dash of salt and pepper

*If you are not eating eggs, the greens can be prepared as a side dish or served with a whole grain (ie. amaranth, quinoa or millet).

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a medium, oven proof skillet over medium heat.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, leeks (or onion), and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes.
Add greens and saute until they just begin to wilt, about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat eggs in a large bowl, add 1/4 cup water, dijon mustard, and parsley.
Add vegetable mixture to eggs, stir to combine and return to skillet.
Bake in oven proof skillet or glass baking dish for 30-40 minutes.
Serve hot or room temperature

ARUGULA PESTO
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup 
fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 cups baby arugula
3 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Mince the garlic cloves in a food processor, then add the walnuts and pulse until the nuts are chopped. Add all of the remaining ingredients, pulse until evenly blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and serve as a dip, sauce or topping.

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