Mikaela Martin - Healthy Bites - Tips for Spring

healthybiteshorizontalRGB-300x101Tips for Spring was out topic this week. Several recent warm and sunny days had many of us donning t-shirts, opening windows and realizing that spring is just around the corner!  In these last few weeks of winter, the final snow and ice will melt, the crocus bulbs will poke through the ground, and robins will make a reappearance.  Just as the Mother Nature readies for spring, now is a great time to assess your own new-season plans and start spring-cleaning your health habits.

Below you can see the ideas Mikaela Martin shared with us on different ways to stay healthy during your transition from Winter to Spring:

1. Find your fit body

It generally takes us three weeks of consistent exercising to make the habit “stick,” so if you want to be confident and fit while wearing tank tops and shorts this spring, now is the perfect time to get moving on an exercise program. Whether you’re just beginning, restarting or revamping your fitness routine, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set specific goals – Write down exactly what your goal is (i.e.: 20 minutes of cardio three days a week), and then plan for it and track it on a calendar or in a journal.
  • Keep it simple – Expensive equipment and top-of-the-line gear doesn't necessarily mean a better workout.  In fact, many experts recommend keeping workouts efficient and simple by using everyday medicine balls, free weights and our own body resistance (planks, push-ups, squats, etc.).
  • Get accountability – Find a workout buddy or enlist a spouse, coworker or friend to regularly check in on you and your fitness goals.  Hire a personal trainer, health counselor or lifestyle coach if you’re looking for more in-depth, structured or personalized planning and accountability.

2. Eat fresh foods

Local, seasonal fruits and vegetable not only taste better than shipped-in, mass-produced foods, but they’re also nutritionally better for you – eating fresh and local is a win-win. Take some time now to consider what your local sources of produce will be this season:

  • Plant a garden – Square foot gardening is an easy, inexpensive and space-saving approach that will empower even the newest gardener.  Check out books on the topic from your local library or visit www.squarefootgardening.com for more info.
  • Join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program – A CSA sells “shares” of a farm’s harvest to the public, and members then pick up a selection of field-fresh produce once a week throughout the growing season. Two local favorites are Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie (215-257-2566; www.bloomingglenfarm.com) and Pennypack Farm in Horsham (215-646-3943; www.pennypackfarm.org);
  • Find a farmers’ market – In many cases, artisans and specialty food producers participate in community markets, so visiting your local farmers’ market is a great way not only to get delicious fruits and vegetables, but also to stock up on other local goods. The Indian Valley Farmers’ Market in Telford (215-723-6627; www.ivfm.org) and Lansdale Farmers Market (www.lansdalefarmersmarket.org) are open on Saturdays throughout the spring and summer seasons; you can also search for a farmers’ market near you at www.localharvest.org.

3. Keep a peaceful mind

Just as sweeping up, cleaning out and reorganizing our homes leaves us feeling peaceful and in control, spring-cleaning our minds can have the same benefits.  Take stock of your intentions, feelings, thoughts and motivations, keep what is positive, and to let go of those that no longer serve you:

  • Reassess your intentions for 2011 – Whether or not you made official New Year resolutions, take some time now to write down or revisit your goals for this year.  If a goal is no longer important, let it go; if a new goal has appeared, write it down.  Keep your updated list in a visible place.
  • Release negative feelings and thoughts – Harboring negative thoughts takes up valuable space in our minds and hearts.  Clear out the clutter now, so that you have room to receive the rejuvenating gifts life will bring this spring.
  • Get in touch with your motivations – Grab a blank piece of paper and without thinking, answer the question, “What motivates me?” Practicing this free-association technique will help you start to uncover your inspirations and ambitions, which fosters clear thinking, self-awareness and purposeful action.


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