I do know that I am so glad winter is behind us and spring is in the air. This week though it feels like summer. It is supposed to be in the 90's here... gonna have to suck it up and turn the air on.
One thing about warm weather is I feel more like eating lighter, healthier meals. In the cold of the winter comfort foods like stews, chili, mac and cheese are our go to meals. Once it gets warmer grilled foods, crisp salads, and vegetables seem to take center stage... which is a good thing. Americans don't get enough vegetables in their diet. I really try but I too fall short. One great way to get enough in is to have a big salad before dinner every day. You can mix up anything you like. I have been really enjoying a greek salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, a few olives (monounsaturated fats aka mufas) and feta cheese. It is ok to add some cheese to your diet. Just pick ones that are lower in fat, like feta and parmesean. You can also add carrots, celery, peppers, mushrooms... whatever you like. This will #1 fill you up so you eat less dinner and #2 give you a good portion of veggies for the day. Follow up your big salad with some grilled chicken and veggies and you are well on your way.
Tip for today. Like your mother always said "Eat your vegetables", she was right. The food pyramid says 3-5 servings of vegetables a day, but aim on the high side, especially if you are trying to lose weight. I would recommend 5-8 servings. This will fuel your body and fill you up for way less calories. CAUTION: DO NOT DRENCH YOUR HEALTHY SALAD WITH A TON OF FATTENING SALAD DRESSINGS. THIS CAN ADD UP TO MORE CALORIES THAN A BIG MAC IF YOU DO!!! Dress your salad with a simple mix of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and you are good to go. If you want to jazz it up a bit add some fresh berries to your salad and a few nuts to get in some fruits and good fats and protein. Also, you can add beans, lean chicken, or tuna to your salad to create a whole meal.
Pictured below is a simple spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and shaved parmesean cheese dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Simple...heathful...delicious.