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Spring Has Sprung

PROHealth
4/15/2014

daffodil2561.jpgWhat a fantastic time of year!  The birds are singing. The days are brighter, and the winter waste is washing away with April’s showers. How are you going about your spring cleaning?

To welcome the new energy of the season, we all need to clean our “houses.” Yes, we actually have two houses to clean, our homes that we live in and our physical bodies. Just as our homes accumulate “stuff” such as magazines, old clothing, dust, etc. that need to be sorted and cleaned out, our bodies also accumulate “stuff” such as residues and toxins from the heavy winter foods that we’ve consumed and from stresses and negative thoughts that have piled up.

Here are a few tips to help you spring clean your body and make way for the new, feel-good you!

1.    Give your body a break from heavy, rich foods.  Instead, eat simple meals, with lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains and some fruits. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas, and enjoy broth-based soups.  This will give your digestive system a bit of break, making more energy available for the rest of your body.

2.    Reflect on your thoughts and feelings.  Is your glass half-full or half-empty?  Just as our bodies and homes need a good sweep, so do our hearts & minds. Do you have any negative thoughts and feelings that are not serving you?  Are you excessively stressed about situations which you have no control over?  Finding five minutes each day to quiet your brain, practice some deep belly breathing, will help clear the clutter from your heart and your mind, creating space for new and wonderful possibilities.

3.    To your daily routine, try adding-in leafy greens.  They are power-packed with     nutrients, vitamins A, C, E and K, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc.     Eating greens daily will give you a sense of light and renewed energy. There are so many to choose from - kale, collard greens, bok choy, cabbage, spinach, broccoli...!

Love salty snacks?  Ditch the potato chips and try something new.

Kale Chips

Ingredients:    
1 to 2 bunches kale
Olive oil
sea salt

Directions:
   1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
   2. Remove kale from stalk, leaving the greens in large pieces.
   3. Place a little olive oil in a bowl, dip your fingers and rub a very light coat of oil over the kale.
   4. Place kale on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until it starts to turn a bit brown. Keep an eye on it as it can burn quickly.
   5. Turn the kale over and bake with the other side up. Remove and serve.

Additionally:
    * Try different kinds of kale or collard greens.
    * For added flavor sprinkle with a little salt or spice, such as curry or cumin after rubbing on olive oil.
    * For more kale recipes, check out this article from the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/health/02recipehealth.html?_r=5&ref=he&


Sources: Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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