Spring Into You!

Published on: 03/15/2023
Field and yellow spring flowers
March has always been one of my favorite months as it is the start of spring. I was born on the first day of Spring which was always fun until the day changed – seriously😡… Apparently, the first day of spring, also known as astronomical spring, March equinox, spring equinox, or the vernal equinox, varies from year to year (obviously 🙄). Spring begins on March 19, 20, or 21, all based upon the Earth’s revolution around the sun which is actually 365.25 days, not just 365, which creates the inconsistency of the first of spring, and in case you are not yet aware the extra quarter of a day is also why we have a leap year every four years. If you are wondering why I am sharing this with you here, it is because the one thing we can always count on is change. Whether it is the earth’s rotation around the sun disrupting our calendars, or that Ben and Jerry’s stopped making your favorite flavor, or you favorite vodka has been discontinued🤗, shit happens. And how we roll with it is what matters. The best way to roll with changes in your eating world is to try something new. A new flavor, a new brand, a new fruit or vegetable, a new source of protein. These do not have to be truly newly created or produced, but new to you. Spring is all about new beginnings and transformations – think of it as a season that symbolizes starting fresh. So even if your favorite chicken dish is still on the restaurant menu year after year, try something new. 

Take some time with spring approaching and reflect on what changes you would like to make to your eating habits, as well as why you want to make them, and how to make them happen.

Reflect:
take some time to think
Drill deeper into your thoughts and feelings about your eating habits before getting into the nitty-gritty details of how you will get there. Take time to journal, think or discuss your thoughts on the following prompts:

  • What concerns you most about your eating habits?
  • How would improving your daily food intake change your life?
  • What would a healthier you look and feel like?
  • By the start of the summer, what would you want to be different regarding your day-to-day healthful eating habits?


WHY:
what is your WHY?
It’s essential to think about why you want to make a change. Who or what are you doing it for? Finding your motivation for change can help you stick to your goals when the going gets tough.

​How:
how am I going to make this happen for me?
We gotta keep it real. Setting huge goals or too many goals at once can feel overwhelming, making it harder to stick to them. My personal and professional rule of thumb is to go for one at a time. Use the SMART goal framework (see my When Life Gives You Lemons blog for more details on this topic, too!) to help you set and keep your goal(s):
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time-bound

And most importantly, words matter. Speak to yourself as you would your close friend. So instead of using diet language or harsh language like “I need portion control”, use the more empowering, kinder terminology like “I need to be aware of my appetite..”. This means that you listen to your special body’s special signals to let you know when you are hungry, full, satisfied…and ready to spring forward!

Here are some springy recipes to help us get into the groove🕺🏽🤸🏾‍♀️🚴🏿‍♂️💃🏾~ Happy Spring🌷


SPRINGY SALMON

Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish on the market, as it is low in saturated fat and a good source of protein. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin B12, along with a significant source of potassium, iron, and vitamin D. I also love that it is really hard to overcook salmon (not to say it could never happen 😉), so always moist and tasty. This sweet and sour twist is quite pleasing to the palate.INGREDIENTS
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
1 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce, low-sodium
1 Tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (yes, this could come in a jar)
Optional: fresh parsley and lemon slices for garnish 

PREPARATION
Place salmon fillets in the baking dish. Whisk together soy sauce, honey, chili garlic sauce, and ginger in a small bowl. Pour over the salmon and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 2 hours, occasionally mixing a bit to make sure all is marinating well. 

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roast salmon for 12-15 minutes. Before removing from the oven, broil on high for 1-2 minutes to get the desired crispiness. Remove from oven and serve with fresh parsley and lemon for garnish. Makes 4 servings.

MISO YOUR MUSHROOMS
Sauteéing the mushrooms first, then mixing in the miso butter ensures that every bite is glazed with the rich buttery, miso flavor…without too much richness. 

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds small portobello mushrooms, washed, destemmed, and sliced into bite-size pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon miso paste
1 Tablespoon mirin
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

PREPARATION
Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 6-7 minutes, until mushrooms and garlic begin to slightly brown. 

While mushrooms are cooking, place butter in a small bowl, cover, and microwave for about 15-20 seconds until mostly melted. Add miso paste and mirin to butter and stir well. 

Place mushrooms in a serving bowl. Add miso mixture and toss well. Garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

BARBECUE-SPICED ROASTED POTATOES
These bbq seasonings get me excited for grilling time, yet keep the cooking indoors for hopefully just a few more weeks. These were a huge hit in my house – barbecue chip seasonings on fresh potatoes are a win-win.🥔

INGREDIENTS
3 medium-sized russet potatoes
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon chili-lime seasoning (Trader Joe’s is awesome!)
½ Tablespoon granulated sugar (just a touch per serving, and well worth it for the overall flavor)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Nonstick cooking spray

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray and set aside. 

Scrub potatoes and chop them into bite-size pieces. Place in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Add olive oil and mix well. Cover and microwave for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway, or until potatoes are slightly soft. 

While the potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl, mix all of the spices (chili-lime seasoning through garlic powder). Add the spice mix to the potatoes and mix well. Place the seasoned potatoes on the roasting pan and spread out as much as possible. Roast for 15 minutes, mixing every 5 minutes, or until crispy. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

CHERRY BLOSSOM
This original recipe calls for a salted or sugared rim, which is an option, but not necessary. A fun and refreshing drink to celebrate cherry blossom season🍒and our uphill climb to Spring.🌷

INGREDIENTS
1½ ounces tequila
1-ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
1-ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed is best, but not a must
½ Tablespoon grenadine
Optional garnishes: fresh or frozen cherries, lime slices, grapefruit slices

PREPARATION
Fill a shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add all ingredients and shake well. Pour into a martini glass and garnish to your liking. Makes 1 serving. Cheers🍸!

PEANUT BUTTER BANANZAS
I usually do a drink or a dessert in each blog, as I think that it is a choice to make – drink OR dessert most of the time, but not always.😉These could be considered a dessert, but absolutely could be consumed as part of a breakfast meal with some fresh fruit, or as a power-it-up afternoon snack – especially for kids who are on-the-go-go!

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup ripe bananas (2-3, depending on their size)
1 cup all-natural peanut butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup instant oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup mini chocolate chips 

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and set aside. 
In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. 

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the peanut butter mixture, beating until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, form them into rounded balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. Either way, heat before consuming (approximately 8 seconds in the microwave if fresh; 15 seconds if frozen), as they are best warmed!

Flowers are the music of the earth.

~Marty Rubin, Self-titled aphorist, philosopher bum and happiness freak who is known for his witty aphorisms that build a bridge between philosophy and poetry.

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With a longstanding dedication to healthy cooking and eating, I promote nutrition with a rebellious twist: the belief that perfection is not required for success on your wellness journey. 

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