Spring Strategies for Healthy Living – Part One

It finally feels like Spring – the season that brings us warm temperatures, lots of daylight hours, and no excuses for not fitting in all of our workouts and healthy eating, right?  Well, not exactly.  First of all, it feels like there is a special occasion every single minute (Mother’s Day, First Communion, Confirmation, Graduation, Bridal and Baby Showers).  Then, for parents, you are likely spending every waking moment at sports (practices, games, tournaments).  And let’s not forget the upcoming vacations.  How could you possibly be expected to hold it all together on vacation?

 
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I love Spring.  I count down the days during our bitter New England winter to the vernal equinox.  But every year, I’m always surprised (why – you would think I would get it by now) by how busy it is.  So, today I’m bringing you the first in a 3-Part series of blog posts on strategies for healthy living in Springtime.  Today, we’ll talk about one thing you can do to make those special celebrations at home more nutritious.  In Part 2, we’ll discuss strategies for the overloaded sports/activities schedules – and how you can fit in time for your own activities.  And finally, in Part 3, we’ll talk about ways to stay on track during vacation.

Spring Celebrations

I love a home celebration for holidays and special life milestones.  People can really relax and enjoy themselves.  There’s a lot of planning and preparation that go into these occasions, but usually everyone helps with something to make it all easier. 

The thing about a home party (and this goes for all those upcoming summer barbeques too) is that the menu can be somewhat limited and it typically is a lot of comfort food.  Because there are a lot of food sensitivities in our family, my sister and I started adding in a salad bar at every family gathering – especially during Spring and Summer when fresh vegetables are plentiful.  We both have felt so much better on that dreaded Day After The Event when we’ve kept our plate healthy at the party.

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Incorporating the Salad Bar

So, how do you incorporate the salad bar into your holiday menu?  I like to think of it as running alongside the traditional menu.  For Mother’s Day late lunch, our menu looked like this:

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We also run the same theme for dessert.

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It really works! When you have all these healthy choices in front of you, you will definitely eat better than if you had no options whatsoever.

We often find that we have lots of leftovers with the salad bar – which is perfect!  It sets us up on the right foot for a busy week ahead with all that salad prep already done.

So, if you are hosting (or going to) a home celebration, try adding in the Salad Bar.

A Word About Lettuce

I think that the recent recalls of Romaine lettuce have left us all a little frightened about when the next outbreak will happen.  Whenever I can, I try to buy hydroponic lettuce.  I also like the lettuce from my local Farmer’s Market.  And another favorite is Little Leaf Farms Lettuce which is grown locally here in Devens, MA.  I love that it is not spending five days in a truck getting here from California! 

 
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Next Time on the Blog

How to fit in your own workout and healthy eating during the busy Spring sports season.