It’s hard to believe, but other than a day or two, the sun has actually been shining like crazy up here in Seattle the past couple of weeks. Spring has hit us early, and it is absolutely wonderful.
All this sunshine got me thinking about all of the wonderful things that spring entails, and I decided to share with you seven ways to get into the feel of spring, healthily and happily.
1. Get Seasonal. After a season of eating winter squash, root veggies, and other heavy cold weather veggies, the multitude of greens and fresh herbs, and the asparagus, artichokes, peas and radishes of spring are a lighter change that your body will really appreciate. Honestly, I get a bit too excited about asparagus season. I love preparing it steamed, roasted, grilled, or even blended into a delicious soup.
Eating seasonally is also great for the environment, because it means that your food isn’t being transported as far (making it fresher, as well). That saves gas, CO2 from the delivery trucks, and money for you from transportation costs.
2. Check Out Your Local Farmers’ Market. One of the easiest ways to get fresh, local, seasonal produce, and other fun, local products, is to head to the farmers’ market. If you’re lucky enough to live in a location with a year-long growing season, or are in the southern hemisphere, check out FarmersMarket.com to find one near you, and go! For the rest of us, we still have a couple of months until most of the markets open, but you can still start planning ahead, or find a permanent market in your area. We Seattlites always have the option of checking out Pike Place Market during any season.
3. Eat More Raw Foods. Help your body adjust to the changing seasons by adding more raw foods into your diet. Spring is the perfect time to add more salads, juices, and smoothies with the abundance of seasonal greens and other light veggies. Have a juice or smoothie for or with your breakfast, and have a large salad for your lunch or dinner, topped with raw nuts or seeds. When you don’t have a salad as an entree, have a small side salad to go with whatever you are eating. Your body will thank you for all the extra enzymes and alkalinity.
4. Get outside. Walk, run, bike, hike. No matter what you like to do, get out and do it. Try to be in the moment, and savor the beauty around you. I bet you’ll feel the difference throughout the day. As an added bonus, breathing more heavily means extra oxygen which helps to strengthen and rejuvenate your body, and helps to expel toxins more efficiently.
5. Do Some Spring Cleaning. Throw open your windows, let some of that warm air flow through your home, and give your place a bit of deep cleaning in the next few weeks. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed you’ll feel in your sparkly clean abode.
While you’re at it, toss out your old, chemical-filled cleaners and trade them in for something a little more kind to you and the environment. My absolutely favorite go-to cleaner is a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. I originally made it as a glass cleaner, but now I use it for just about every surface. My also love baking soda for any scrubbing, especially toilets and showers, and my favorite soap is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.
6. Volunteer. Giving back to your community helps innumerable people, and makes you happier at the same time. Visit VolunteerMatch.org to find out about volunteer positions in your area, and within your skill set. Even if you don’t have much to give financially, we all are able to donate the gift of time. This upcoming week will be my first week working with the Tukwila Pantry, a food pantry in my city. In the upcoming months I will be helping to pack bags and pass out food, as well as helping with some fundraising and sharing my nutrition knowledge in various routes.
7. Take Your Own Spring Break Trip. Even if you aren’t in school anymore, take spring as an opportunity to get out of town! Take a whole week off if you can, or make it a weekend getaway; round up your girlfriends, bestie, or your significant other; go somewhere exotic, or take off for your favorite spot on the coast, but get yourself a change of scenery and some relaxation time. You will be so incredibly thankful for it, and studies have shown that planning a vacation makes you observably happier!
For more help making 2013 your healthiest and happiest year yet, hire me as a Health Coach for only $50 a month! For more details, check the Coaching tab above.
How are you planning to celebrate springtime?
Have a great weekend!