What to Eat This Spring

Enjoy This Seasons Finest Foods

In the US, we enjoy practically unlimited access to any food any time of the year. Although it’s nice to have watermelon in February and asparagus in August, many people don’t even know that foods have a season, let alone what foods are in season at any given time of year.

But in the food world, local is the new exotic. Farmer’s markets are popping up in every neighborhood as consumers are realizing the benefits of eating food that was grown within miles of their mouths. Local food boasts a host of benefits, including better flavor, higher nutritional value, and less environmental burden. It’s healthier for you because you get the higher nutrient levels from just-picked produce. It’s healthier for the environment because local food uses less fossil fuel for transport. It tastes better because it really is fresh (not shipped-from-across-the-country-yet-still-bearing-a-label-that-says-fresh). And it’s also interesting, as each season brings a new crop of foods that you haven’t had for an entire year. Before you’ve had a chance to tire of its bounty, the season changes to bring new, flavorful foods.

If you want to eat healthy, home-cooked meals without all the fuss, try a seasonal pantry makeover! To do it, stock up on locally-grown foods—a fun trip to your local farmer’s market will yield the majority of the ingredients you need—and simply create meals based on what’s in season in your region.

Availability will vary from region to region, but here’s a list of foods that make spring their season, along with tips on how to incorporate the new-to-you ingredients into your meals.

Atlanta Personal trainer - What to Eat This Spring

 

Artichokes. A perfect springtime appetizer, serve artichokes that have been boiled until tender (about an hour) with homemade garlic butter for dipping. Or add cooked artichokes to pasta sauce, pizza or salads.

Asparagus. Although you can pick up asparagus at the supermarket any time of the year, it never tastes as good as freshly-harvested springtime asparagus. Grill, steam, or braise, and sprinkle with some kosher salt for a simple side-dish.

Carrots. Pair them with peanut butter for a quick and healthy midday snack, or make a side dish like glazed carrots for a gourmet dinner.

Collards. Abundant spring through fall, this dark leafy green is the main ingredient in famous southern greens recipes. Collards are also a rich source of calcium.

Fennel. Fennel slightly resembles celery, with a bulbous base, which is the part that you eat. Chop into small spears and sauté in olive oil and minced garlic until tender, then sprinkle with minced fresh parsley and cook a minute more.

Morels. These wild mushrooms are so treasured, there’s even a website dedicated to morel “hunting,” complete with message boards and photos of people’s finds. Morels are delicious sautéed or roasted, and boast a nutty, meaty flavor and a rich and creamy texture.

Mustard Greens. High in antioxidants and vitamins K and A, these dark leafy greens are as nutritious as they are flavorful. The raw leaves can be added to salads or steamed or boiled until tender.

New Potatoes. Although they can be mashed, these springtime babies are best roasted or boiled and topped with a pat of butter and some kosher salt to accentuate their fresh flavor.

Rhubarb. Most famous for its part in rhubarb pie, this perennial vegetable can be cooked and pureed to make a sweet sauce, or even used to make oatmeal-rhubarb bars. Just make sure you don’t eat the leaves, which are toxic.

Spinach. Mix with baby lettuce for an exceptional salad, or sauté with garlic to make a delicious side dish.

Spring Fruits
Fruit is always easy. It is ready to eat, and tastes great. But if you’re looking for some new ways to incorporate fruit into your menu besides the “grab and bite” technique, try fruit smoothies, fruit cobblers and fruit-topped pancakes and French toast.

  • Apricots. These delectable and delicate fruits are delicious fresh, cooked into a sauce, or grilled. Get them while you can, because they don’t last long!
  • Strawberries. Strawberry shortcake, strawberry smoothies, strawberries al a mode…the possibilities are endless.
  • Avocado. Avocadoes are an excellent source of healthy unsaturated fats, but many people don’t know what to do with them outside of whipping up some guacamole. Try them sliced on a sandwich, or cubed into salads. Just remember that they don’t keep well, so try to use them immediately.

Spring Seasonings
If you’ve done a little cooking, you probably know that the seasonings can make the meal. Here are some seasonal seasonings for your spring suppers.

  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Watercress

If your pantry isn’t stocked with the season’s tastiest and most nutritious staples, then get yourself to your local farmer’s market and add flavor to your meals with the best spring seasonings. To find a farmer’s market near you, visit www.localharvest.org, and enjoy the bounty of spring!

 

Resourced From: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1049

Quick, Easy and Healthy Recipe | Baked Pepper Jack and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Baked Pepper Jack and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Healthy Recipes Atlanta Personal Trainer

 

This recipe is simple, quick to prepare yet very delicious.  As busy personal trainers and  business owners, we often don’t get home until after 8:00–thus making it challenging to prepare, cook, and eat a healthy meal and still get into bed at a reasonable hour.  We often equate eating healthy with eating boring repetitive meals. However, dedicating your life to fitness and bettering your health doesn’t mean you have to eat plain chicken and broccoli at every meal.  This is just one easy way to spice your chicken up!

Ingredients:

Chicken

2 lbs of chicken (4 large chicken breasts–the leftovers can be used as lunch the next day)

Cajun Seasoning (I like Weber’s)

4 oz. Light Pepper Jack Cheese

1 bag Spinach OR 1 package of frozen spinach

Broccoli

1 bag of organic precut broccoli florets

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil

Weber’s garlic and herb seasoning

*Serves about 4 people, or use the left-overs as your lunch for the next day (or dinner for 2 nights)!

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and trim any fat off of the chicken breasts.  Cut about 4-6 slices in the chicken breasts (make sure to not slice all the way through the breasts).  Sprinkle your desired amount of Cajun seasoning on each side of every chicken breast.  Place the chicken breast on a non-stick baking pan lined with foil. Wash your hands and set aside.

Heat a pan on low heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Saute spinach until it is wilted.  Take off of heat and let cool.  While spinach is cooling, cut the cheese into small slices (each breast will get about 1 oz of cheese or 2-3 slices).  Add slices of cheese and sautéed spinach to the slits you cut previously in the chicken breast.

For roasted broccoli, line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss broccoli with 1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil and sprinkle with your desired amount of garlic and herb seasonings.  Spread out on baking sheet.

Bake both the broccoli and chicken at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Enjoy!

From our kitchen to yours!

Mandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Atlanta Personal Training | Before and After | Client of the Month

Live Life Fit

Client of the Month

Nicole Hogan 

atlanta personal training

Atlanta personal training

January/February 2014

 We have a first ever three month streak for Client of the Month at Brad Kolowich Jr’s personal training studio.  Nicole Hogan, 28, a full-time nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and an O.R. Nurse at Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialist has been working non-stop in pursuit of competing in her first ever NPC Bikini Competition.  Through the holiday’s, Valentines, snow storms (and being stranded at the hospital), her birthday, illness and other special events, Nicole has let nothing be an excuse for reaching her goals she has set in place.  Nicole stays consistent with her workouts in the studio and on her own.  Since the start of the year, she has learned to take her nutrition to another level—prepping meals, counting her macronutrients more diligently, weighing and measuring everything to meet her ideal macronutrient make-up, and she even completed a trial run through of the dietary process to get stage ready!  This vigorous two week process involves sodium loading, then sodium depleting, water loading and then water depleting, and finally carb depleting and carb loading—and Nicole tackled it flawlessly!  A year after beginning her fitness journey, Nicole is in the best shape of her adult life.  In the picture above she has photographed her abs in March 2013 and again in February 2014.  She is a true testament to Richard G. Scott’s quote about consistency, “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.”  Nicole will be competing March 21-22 in Pensacola, FL in the Panhandle Showdown Championships National Qualifier in hopes of receiving her national qualification to compete in other future National NPC Bikini events.  We wish you the best of luck Nicole!