5 spring-time nutrition tips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACalorie conscious nutrition tips for the new season

  1. Walking fast is just as good as jogging when it comes to health benefits.  It’s annoying and unhelpful when exercise is portrayed as running or working out in a gym, wearing expensive athletic clothes.  And of course the people in the photos are all skinny.  So the news that a brisk walk is just as good for you is welcome.  You don’t need to spend money on gym memberships or special clothes.  You just need someplace to walk and comfortable shoes.  The catch: “brisk”.  Walking the dog, or strolling around the garden won’t cut it.  You need to be striding purposefully.  Think of it this way: if you walk for 45-60 minutes a day and cover 3-4 miles, you’re doing well.  Take advantage of longer days and warmer weather to walk early in the morning or in the evening.
  2. Easter is over, but jelly beans and hard boiled eggs may still be with you.  If you can’t bear to throw out the jelly beans, and you don’t want to eat them, put it in a bag and stick it way up in a cupboard, out of sight.  They make great decorations for ginger bread houses at Christmas, and they’ll be too stale to eat.  As for the eggs, make egg salad: peel and chop.  For each egg mix in 1/2 tsp mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp olive oil, a dab of mustard and some black pepper to taste.
  3. It’s the season for peanuts and cracker jacks.  Baseball fans will be chowing down on all manner of snacks, from peanuts to sushi.  What’s the calorie charge?  First of all, you won’t be burning many calories sitting at the stadium, so you don’t actually need extra calories.  Two peanuts, the typical amount in a shell, have about 12 calories.  Eating 25 or 30 peanuts in the shell during a game equals about 300-360 calories.  Don’t despair.  Peanuts have considerable protein, healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.  They may also be high in sodium, if they’re salted.  Cracker Jacks are more about sugar.  One-half cup of Cracker Jacks has 120 calories, half of them from sugar.
  4. Asparagus is also in season.  It’s low calorie: one spear has from 2-5 calories, depending on how long or thick it is.  You can eat asparagus raw or cooked.  The raw spear tips are especially delicious.  Asparagus is a very good source of iron, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.
  5. As the weather gets warmer, you’ll also need more fluids.  Don’t let beverages load you down with sugar calories.  Cut calories by sticking to water, carbonated water or seltzer water, plain iced tea or iced coffee.  You can make interesting herbal tea combinations by steeping several different varieties together.  Here’s are some great combinations:
  • a zinger-type tea, such as tangerine or lemon, plus a fruity variety like blueberry plus mint
  • black tea plus mint, or even better, fresh mint leaves
  • put slices of peeled cucumber in a jug of water, and add lemon slices and mint leaves
  • camomile tea plus mint plus a mild fruit flavor, such as peach
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