Go PLAY with Your Food

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring is a wonderful time to get outside and be active. It is also a time when people tend to grab quick meal replacements because they spend more time out of the house. Following the PLAY-model we can find ways to add in those healthy meals while having enough time to play in the sun.

P • Prepare
Make meals in advance so you can spend more time outside. For instance, you can prepare extra chicken on Sunday night, use some of the chicken for tacos on Monday night, and then have the leftover chicken taco meat on a salad for Tuesday’s lunch. Taking an hour our two to prepare meals on Sunday or on a rainy day will help you shave off cooking time the rest of the week so you can have more play time outside.

L • Let it Be Simple
Many times people think that eating healthy means making complex meals. That does not need to be true. We can make healthy meals that are simple and still give you energy such as a quick whole wheat pasta salad filled with spring vegetables and crumbled feta cheese. Simple meals take a lot less time and can have just as much flavor and beneficial foods.  

A • Add New Ingredients
This spring, challenge yourself to add in a new ingredient once a week. If there is a vegetable that you see at the store and have never tried before, such as an artichoke or beets, find a recipe and try it! Even trying something as simple as a new spice or herb could enhance the flavor of a food you have eaten for ages. Who knows, maybe you will find a new favorite.

Pick foods that will help YOUR body. Every person has a different body and taste buds that are unique. Even though everyone needs carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to maintain normal body function, we all need them in slightly different amounts and maybe at different times of the day. Plan your meals around your schedule and your activity needs. Think about your likes and dislikes. If you are trying something new, pair it with something you know you like, just in case. Take some time to find a plan that works best for you.

Planning ahead, letting your meals be simple, and adding in new ingredients will make you feel great while giving you time to get outside and enjoy the weather.

Sarah Tomasiewicz Healthy Eating Intern
Greater Green Bay YMCA