Let me share with you my 5 ways to lighten up my load this spring:
I start adding in more salads. Whether for lunch or dinner, I just grab a big bowl and fill it up with fresh local greens. I also think about choosing colourful vegetables, and different textures and flavours to make the meal more enticing.
I drink my dinner. This isn’t ideal all the time. But some nights when I get home and don’t feel like making a meal or eating a heavy dinner, I just pull out my blender and make a yummy blended cold soup. I like to use treats like avocado to thicken it up and make it more filling.
I change the ratios on my plate. This is the easiest way to lighten up while sparing my body extra calories. I opt to change the ratios on my plate. For example, instead of taking an extra serving of grain, I might add more veggies, either steamed or fresh. That way I am spending most of my time munching on fiber and getting in good nutrients.
I use vegetables in place of grains. It’s always fun finding alternatives to pasta and whole grains. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my quinoa and brown rice pasta. But in the spring, I often find myself opting for veggie versions. For instance, I grind up cauliflower instead of rice or use kelp and zucchini noodles for basic dishes or pasta recipes. Once I have these as a base, I can put any dressing or sauce on them and I don’t even notice the difference, apart from feeling lighter and getting full on fiber instead of starch.
I make juice. I find that this is the easiest way to start lightening up in the spring. Whether I have my juice as part of breakfast, lunch or dinner, making a tall glass of vegetable juice is an easy way to load up on nutrients instead of calories.
With the days lengthening, I feel lighter already! I find myself eating lighter too. I find I no longer desire the warming, heavy foods of winter. I reach for foods like green vegetables that will hydrate and refresh me. Try it – you might just find it revitalizes you too.
Green Avocado Cucumber Soup
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 large ripe avocados
½ cup spinach or kale
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 apples (crisp and tart apples like granny smith)
2-1/2 cups coconut milk or coconut water
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Parsley for garnish
Optional additions: garlic, ginger, cayenne, dill
- In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Chill until ready to serve and garnish with fresh herbs.
This article was originally written for Chatelaine.