Not only is spring the time of year when most people start thinking about ways to improve their health, but it is also the easiest time of year to do so (March is National Nutrition Month after all)! Longer days and warmer temperatures encourage people to get outside and be more active. Sweaters giving way to shorts and sundresses provide added motivation to get fitter and healthier. And the rich bounty of fresh foods available in the spring makes it a cinch to change your eating habits for the better. Here, three simple strategies that will help you eat healthier this year.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
There’s nothing better than heading to the farmer’s market on a breezy, spring Sunday morning. You can pick up some fresh flowers, maybe a gourmet coffee and support local businesses. But the focal point of any farmer’s market is the fresh fruits and vegetables. Make a point of browsing these stalls and picking up some produce. Most of what’s available at the farmer’s market has been picked at the peak of its freshness, which will inspire you to use it in your cooking right away. If you’re unsure how to use anything, the food sellers can offer advice on preparation—though when in doubt, fresh, in-season vegetables will always be delicious raw.
No farmer’s market nearby? Consider signing up for a CSA, in which you will be sent a box of assorted fresh produce (and sometimes eggs) on a chosen schedule. This is another great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Try One New Vegetable
Even if you’re picking up all your produce at your local grocery store, one smart strategy that can help diversify your cooking and make it healthier is to pick up one new vegetable or fruit each time you go shopping. Maybe it’s one you’ve never heard of, one you always walk by and wonder about, or one that a friend or family member loves and you’ve been meaning to try. Worst case scenario you don’t like it and won’t purchase it again, but best case you discover a delicious addition to your produce rotation that also delivers powerful health-promoting nutrients.
Cook and Freeze
It’s pretty common knowledge that the more you choose to cook at home over dining out, the healthier your diet is going to be overall. But if the idea of cooking every single day feels intimidating or impossible, consider cooking just one or two days a week and freezing healthy foods to enjoy later. You can prepare and freeze individual ingredients to then put together and use in your favorite recipes or cook entire meals that just need to be popped in the oven or in a pot to get you a healthy dinner on the table an hour or two later. Utilizing your freezer is a simple, stress-free way to ensure you have good-for-you options on hand all the time, even on busy days when cooking is the last thing on your mind.