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Spring Cleaning: Tidy Up Your Diet Habits

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By St. Louis District Dairy Council
Posted in Blog, and Recipes 1 month ago

Welcome to spring! This is a season of new beginnings, fresh starts, and opportunities to grow. Spring cleaning is likely on the agenda: evaluating what we have, dusting off items we have ignored, organizing what we choose to keep, and shedding what we no longer need. In addition to spring cleaning our homes, offices, and outdoor space, this season invites us to tidy up our habits related to personal health.

Much like how we take inventory of household items to assess what should stay and what should go, spring is the time to look critically at choices we routinely make regarding diet and overall health. Which habits promote growth and health, and which slow us down or keep us from feeling our best? We suggest that you assess your usual diet pattern; do you choose foods every day from all food groups? Routinely skipping any of the 5 food groups means missing out on the nutrients they provide. Ensure you are choosing adequate amounts of food groups, too. Choosing 3 dairy servings a day is a healthy habit to maintain. Dairy fuels your body with an unmatched package of 9 essential nutrients.

For some, tidying up diet habits may mean limiting treats that are high in sugar and fat, but do not provide significant nutrition. Cutting down on such treats makes room for foods that offer more bang for their nutritional buck, providing satisfaction as well as nourishment. Flavored milk is a perfect example of a nutritious choice that satisfies a sweet craving and packs a nutrient punch of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D.

If you determine that there is room for dietary improvements, spring is the perfect time of year to sow the seeds of good habits. Weed out the choices that do not promote health, and begin new habits. Set small, simple goals to start you moving in the right direction. Add a serving of a food group that your diet lacks.  Take the dog for an extra walk. Schedule an annual visit with your doctor. Make small changes that you can build on. As you advance through the seasons and build on your small goals, you will reap the benefits of tidying up your health habits.

Recipes

Orange Chocolate Chill

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low fat chocolate milk
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T frozen orange juice concentrate

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend, and serve  

OR 

  • Combine all ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid, shake until blended and slightly frothy, and serve.

Nutrition Facrs: 198 Calories, Fat 3gm, Carbohydrate 36 gm, Protein 10 gm, Calcium 23%

 

Cheese and Asparagus Tart

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (store-bought, thawed)
  • ½ pound asparagus (ends trimmed)
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Fresh pepper to taste

 Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 
  • Roll out puff pastry with a rolling pin; bake pastry for 10 minutes.
  • While pastry is baking, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. Toss asparagus in the olive oil mixture.
  • Sprinkle Swiss cheese on the puff pastry, then arrange asparagus on top of the cheese. Add fresh pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Cut in 4 equal portions to serve.

Nutrition Facts: 211 Calories , Fat 16 gm, Carbohydrate 8 gm, Protein 11 gm, Calcium 22%