So, the weather is finally warming up and I am hoping that it is here to stay, winter was just a few days too long for me this year. Spring feels like it is here now to stay until summertime, and I can tell because my body has suddenly begun craving different foods! Just a few weeks ago I was posting about my obsession with kale, but now I cannot get enough of spring mix from the farmers market! I have been topping my salads with endless radishes and strawberries and the thought of something heavy makes my body sad! It is craving salads with lemon dressing, and light grains up top of them, in particular quinoa and buckwheat!
I got home today from school and all I wanted to have was a smoothie! My smoothies have been getting bigger and fresher each time I make them, I can actually feel spring showing itself through my body.
Something else that spring is bringing is a time for cleansing and detoxing. Easter just passed, and I indulged just a bit too much in chocolate treats and things I normally choose to keep out of my diet. So I have designed a cleanse that I will embark on starting in a few days.
To leave you I have decided to put together a list of seasonal spring vegetables and fruits so that you too can join me in eating more seasonal and enjoying the foods mother nature is ready to give to us!
Artichokes (I hope to try my hand at these!)
Rhubarb (this is growing fast in our garden!)
Now the foods available in your area may differ, and being in Canada I cannot always get everything local, but I have been finding some pretty amazing and fresh produce at the farmers market on Saturday mornings!
Here is a quick recipe for my favourite spring salad!
Spring Salad (serves 1)
Balsamic Dijon dressing
Put these in a jar and shake until all combined. Can be stored for a day or so. I tend to make it fresh each time, or just for a couple days. The oil sometimes hardens in the fridge making it less convenient to use again. Pour this on your salad!
What spring produce are you excited to get your hands on this year?
I am almost embarrassed to say that I just tried kale for the first time this past fall, and since then I have been getting and eating kale every week. I had heard that kale is a tough vegetable for people to get down, and I was concerned, so I did lots of research and came across lots of kale chips and lots of marinated kale salad recipes.
Although I do like kale chips, I have become slightly obsessed with marinated kale salads. They are so easy to make, sometimes I make it a day in advance and it just gets better with time, it is easy to switch up, lots of toppings for variety, and best of all, the salad tastes so yummy!
Today I am sharing my favourite kale salad, but before that, let’s talk about why kale has risen to superfood status.
Some people find that raw cruciferous vegetables can upset their stomachs or cause gas. If this sounds like you, start by cooking these vegetables and add them slowly into your diet. Cooking some of these vegetables can improve some of the nutrient value, so varying cooked and raw is great way to ensure the best nutrition.
This is also a marinated salad, this helps to make the kale less bitter, and aids in the bodies ability to break it down. Make sure you are chewing your salad very well!
This recipe calls for removing the stems, the thick woody vein running down the back. This is not very tasty, especially in a raw salad, but don’t throw these out. You can add the stems to soup, or make a broth or stock, or add them to smoothies or to a stir-fry. The stems are packed with much of the same nutrition as the leaves.
Detoxifying Kale Salad
½ bunch of raw kale
¼ orange, squeezed (or lemon)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (optional, I usually don’t add this)
your favorite protein, or grain (I go for chicken or turkey most days)
Remove the stem from your kale and rip or chop into pieces, set aside. In the bowl you plan to serve from, mash avocado and mix with juice of orange or lemon (lime would likely be tasty too). Add in salt and pepper to taste. Mix in with kale, then use your hands to massage the kale leaves with the “dressing.” Make sure that you get the dressing on all part of the kale, get your hands in there! Let the kale salad sit for at least 10 minutes (or up to a day or so). Add on any toppings you like and eat it up!
I often add nutritional yeast and pumpkin seeds along with a left over protein.
I hope you try this salad and enjoy it as much and as often as I do!
What is your favorite way to enjoy kale? What new vegetable have you added to your diet lately?
Making healthy choices every day is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle; in fact, it is the exact way to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Here are some tips and tricks I use to help maintain my healthy lifestyle. I am not perfect, not at all, but I try each day to do things that will help me move through and be the person I want to be!
Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes
I love this saying, it is just so true, and you need to make a change for things to change. Change something each day that will lead to being just a bit healthier. Think a positive thought, tell yourself something positive, love someone else, eat a better food then you would have yesterday, pick a better sweetener, put back one less then healthy item at the store, go for a walk, do some exercises, take your vitamins, smile, laugh, read a book, go to bed earlier, have less coffee, take a deep breath...the list goes on! Do a little something each day to be better, feel better, and be healthier. Health isn’t just about the food you eat, it’s everything we do and think. It can be so overwhelming to change overnight, so don’t even bother changing over night, change slowly, a little every day.
Start with Breakfast
Starting in the morning with a smart breakfast is a smart way to get going on a healthy day. When we make a mistake or choose something we wish we didn’t we have a tendency to give up, so start off with something good. Stretch a bit, eat some good food and move on with your day. This will eventually lead to making lunch a bit better, making snacks a bit better, and making dinner better!
Keep Things Simple
Eat whole foods! Living a healthy lifestyle should not be complicated. I love homemade granola just as much as the next person but it is far easier to eat a piece of fruit or some nuts when I need a snack then to make a batch of granola bars or healthy muffins. You do not need special "super foods" to be healthy, you don't even need fancy grains, just eat real food. You will see this #hashtag around Instagram, because eating real food is what connects us all--vegan, paleo, vegetarian, raw--eating real food is what matters. Those extras are a nice treat, but not needed at all. Also, when I make fancy bars, snacks or treats, I tend to over eat them, because they are filled with so much stuff and taste so special, I want lots, and I don't want them to go bad. Grab something simple and whole to satisfy your hunger, it is way faster easier and less messy then baking!
Drinking water is critical; pure, fresh and clean water should be a part of everyone’s daily life, drink it often between meals. When you are starting to get hungry drink some water, lots of our hunger is thirst, so drink up, and drink up often! I go for my weight (in lbs) in half in ounces, but you will need more depending on exercise, climate and food intake, add some lemon or lime if you don't like water.
Be a Conscious Eater
When you are eating, think about eating, it will help you digest and appreciate your food, it will allow you to be in the moment and eat. Eating is essential to life, so don’t try to get it over with, eat at a table and think about eating, be at peace and enjoy your meal!
Never Start and Never Finish
Health is a journey, with no beginning and no end. We all have a story and it is on going, so don’t think you failed, just keep going, and don’t say you will start tomorrow or next week, just make better choices, every day, little things add up to big things, that’s just good math!
Visiting my site, reading this post, this is a good change, now go and do something that helps you on your health journey. We are always moving and going down our path, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes that path is rocky, sometimes it is smooth sailing, it can be up or down hill, so long as we are moving forward, we are successful!
What did you do today to keep you moving on your journey in health? What can you do tomorrow to keep going?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
Follow me on Instagram!