Growing into Healthy Habits This Spring

Lauren Plunkett, RDN LD

Veggies are enhanced by the flavors they are cooked in, which makes them so much more enjoyable to eat. The possibilities are endless when it comes to preparation, so get started by setting your kitchen up for success.  Keep your spice cabinet stocked with salt, pepper, rosemary, paprika, sage, chives, oregano, basil, thyme, olive oil, fresh lemon, and even Sriracha sauce for a little kick. Pick at least 4 veggies to keep in your kitchen full time and try one of my favorites:

  • Oven Roasted Veggies – toss cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli, with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, spread evenly over foil on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remember to keep it interesting and change up your veggies seasonally. The Minneapolis Farmers market website is a great resource.

If finding the time to cook is a concern, stock your freezer with frozen stir-fry veggies like broccoli, onion, cauliflower, and soybeans. These options are very affordable and most grocery stores carry steam-in-bag options that can even microwave.

To make a balanced and delicious meal, season your steamed veggies right out of the bag, add a serving of complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown, basmati, or wild rice, and a serving of protein! Don’t forget to read the label on your sauce/marinade for additional carbohydrates.

Maybe you didn’t make a New Year’s resolution, so think about making a seasonal resolution instead. Try making a resolution jar and set healthy goals for spring that includes the whole family.

  1. Everyone drops a resolution into the jar to work on for spring.
  2. At the start of summer, get together and go through every goal in the Resolution Jar to talk about how well you did.
  3. If a resolution was not completed it goes back into the jar to be reviewed at the end of the next season.

Remember to keep it simple and specific. Like,  I will exercise 3 hours this week, I will walk the dog around the block every afternoon, or I will jump rope for 5 minutes daily.

This is how healthy habits start and with fresh vegetables on our plates and spring approaching we can’t help but feel excited at the thought of warmer months to come!

Start collecting images and recipes on your own page on Pinterest. Simply type “cooking vegetables” into the search bar for hundreds of ideas. This is an easy way to find recipes from pictures of delicious meals! Most images link directly to the website it came from with the recipe and cooking instructions.

Nels Thompson