Spring has Sprung! The first day of Spring was March 20th. While there's no telling when the snow and cold temperatures will officially subside, we're still getting closer and closer to sunny days and the beauty of Spring flowers. Our immune systems, the foods we eat and healthy habits all work together for optimum health. As the weather changes, we can introduce simple adjustments to prepare us for warmer days and longer nights.
Whether the weather is cold and snowy or warm with clear skies getting enough sleep is critical to optimum health. As the weather changes we may need to adjust the temperature in our bedrooms, create a “get ready for bed routine” or change what we wear to bed to ensure we sleep well. Our immune system needs to be restored in order to do the miraculous work it does every day to keep us protected. The amount of sleep needed, including naps, varies for each person. In general, adults should be resting between 7 and 9 hours. You will find the number of hours that are right for you.
The Artichoke, a widely consumed thistle cultivated by the early Egyptians and Romans. One of the oldest cultivated plants, the artichoke is native to North African, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands. The Artichoke is a large herbaceous perennial which produces a “globe” of edible leaves and a fleshy edible heart. The leaves of artichoke contain a primary compound known as cynarin, which among its other properties improves liver and gall bladder function, and lowers serum cholesterol. The Artichoke also aids in digestive health.
There are several ways to use Artichokes in your Springtime recipes. You can find artichoke hearts (the main edible part of the plant) frozen or marinated. I added a recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Dip to get you started.
Drink plenty of water. The exact number of ounces required for each person depends on their activity level, age and many other variables. 8 glasses of 8 oz a day has been the goal to reach for. As with the start of any habit, it takes practice and intention. If you need some help remembering to get something to drink, try adding a reminder on your calendar. Maybe your water needs a little pizazz. Try adding a sprig of mint, a lemon or lime rind or a few hibiscus leaves to add flavor and the bonus of additional nutrients.
Getting our bodies ready for the warm months is exciting. We are awake from our winter slumber and ready to soak in all the vitamin D the Creator can provide. Use these tips to get you moving in the right direction.
Vegan Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
Here's a quick and easy spring recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 -10
- 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 3 large cloves garlic diced
- 12 oz. marinated artichoke hearts* chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cups baby spinach diced
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan
- To Serve: bread slices or tortilla chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add artichoke hearts and spinach and saute until spinach is wilted. Add cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a baking dish, top with parmesan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn oven to broil and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve with bread slices and/or tortilla chips.