5 Refreshing Ways to Ring in the Spring
by Tracey Pollack
Spring is in the air with longer days, lighter nights and greenery sprouting up everywhere. You’ve weathered the dark, dreary winter and it’s time to get outdoors and welcome the warmth of spring. Now that we’ve turned the clocks ahead, it’s only natural to take a turn toward lighter, brighter, leaner and greener living. Spring into action today with these five fresh ideas.
- Go Green with Your Spring Cleaning
After hunkering down and huddling up in the house all winter, it’s time to open the doors and let the spring back in. You won’t believe how good it feels to give the house a deep cleaning and begin the season fresh. Get a healthy start by spring-cleaning your cleansers. Swap the chemical-filled formulas that are harmful for the environment for greener and cleaner kinds. You can find all types of natural and toxic-free cleaning supplies right at your grocery store. And now that vegetable-based cleaners have become incredibly popular, they can be found everywhere. You can also save time and money while saving the environment by making your own natural cleansers at home with a few basic ingredients like water, baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar. It’s easy to find recipes online that are better for the environment and make your home look its best.
- Give Warm, Heavy Meals the Cold Shoulder
The brisk chill of winter calls for hearty and heartwarming meals. But with new fruits and vegetables coming into season, turn the tables on those heavy comfort classics and lighten up your eating. Since the balmy days of spring call for spending more time outdoors, your meals should keep your energy up without weighing you down. Pick fresh salads and sandwiches rather than rich soups and stews. Go for grilled, broiled and stir-fried meals full of lean protein and veggies. And instead of the usual pasta and rice, look for a lighter, veggie-packed sides like zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. For a naturally sweet treat, freeze chunks of fruit for smoothies, yogurt, sorbet and frozen fruit popsicles. Since the season is lighter and brighter, your meals should be, as well.
- Go Out to Eat with a Picnic
Fresh air calls for fresh food, which makes a picnic the perfect way to savor the joys of spring. Grab healthy sandwiches, light salads, a blanket and those you love. Then head to the park, the beach or even your own backyard for good food and great fun. Sneak in some healthy exercise by taking a long walk, tossing around a football or playing around on the playground. If you’re looking to relax, bring a book or your favorite music to lighten your mind and brighten your mood.
- Feed Your Need for a Vegetable Garden
If you want to have a steady supply of garden-fresh, toxic-free veggies for healthy meals and snacks, plant a vegetable garden. In just a few months, you’ll have fresh, affordable veggies right outside your door. No more last-minute trips to the grocery store or splurging on pesticide-free produce. You’ll always have the pick of the crop on hand. And planting a garden is more than good for your meals and your wallet—it’s also great for your health. Studies have shown that gardening provides stress relief, exercise, personal satisfaction and a sense of well-being. Another reason to breathe easy about gardening is how it helps the environment. See, plants capture the carbon dioxide in the air, which is the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. If you’d love to go for gardening but lack the land or time, try container gardening to yield the bounty of benefits.
- Brighten Up Your Home and Your Health with Flowers
More than just beautiful bursts of color, flowers are blooming with benefits for your body, your mind and your mood. Along with making your home look better, flowers can make you feel better. Are you worried, stressed or depressed? Research has shown that flowers may help ease anxiety, increase relaxation and give your mood a boost. According to other studies, the sight and smell of flowers may make you more productive, inspire creativity, sharpen your memory and improve brain performance. They can even help you sleep! Since flowers have always been a signal and symbol of spring, now is the perfect time to pick up a bouquet from your florist, farmer’s market or the grocery store and bring home some flower power.
Try some of these health-minded, eco-friendly, fun-loving ideas to put a fresh spring in your step.