Spring Clean Your Way Into A Healthy Summer

      Now that spring is here, it's time to cleanse away all of that winter sludge (think cookies, Christmas dinner, and eggnog) and get your body ready for summer. Since our bodies tend to store more fat during the winter months (or maybe we wear a lot of layers and just don't care if we gain a few pounds here and there!), it's natural that as warmer weather comes, we automatically change our eating and exercise patterns with the season. And, if you plan to go to the beach this summer, spring is the perfect season to prepare by eating lighter foods. Try to buy foods that are specific to the season in your local's farmer's market and experiment with new recipes that include a lot of veggies, grains, and lean proteins.

Try these seasonal fruits:
-apricots
-bananas
-cherries
- figs
-mangoes
-melons
-nectarines
-peaches
-pineapples
-plums

Try these seasonal vegetables:
-asparagus
-artichokes
-beets
-corn
-peppers
-peas
-spinach

Try these outdoor workouts to switch up your routine:
-play tennis
-go for a long walk with friends
-try yoga outside
-do tai chi
-play outdoor basketball

In order to eat lighter:
-try making lighter desserts like peach melba, cherry crisp, or a large fruit salad with greek yogurt
-make hearty soups with a lot of vegetables, for example corn chowder or pea and barley
-add dried figs or apricots to your salad for a fruity twist
-use olive oil instead of butter whenever possible
-have friends over for a seasonal dinner. Have everyone bring a dish that includes a seasonal fruit or vegetable
-go to your local farmer's market and get inspired to make something new

Spring is a time for renewal. Renew your spirit and body now with good foods, exercise and friends.

On the Web: www.melslife.com