Hello spring, we are thrilled to see you! Spring is such a transformative season with new growth for nature and can lead to many fresh opportunities to step outside of one’s comfort zone. Molly (Functun) and I (Kaydealive) have set out on an adventure to bring a breath of fresh air back to our health and wellness journeys by sharing food and fitness inspired by spring. By documenting this exhilarating experience between our different lifestyles (both married- one with kids), we wish to motivate or inspire you to join us in your own creative way.
Balanced nutrition is a major factor in acquiring results on a successful health and wellness journey. Having a repertoire of delicious, yet nutritious meals help everyone reap the benefits of indulging in a health-conscious way. We were thrilled to partner up and hunt for easy spring inspired meals to bring to your plate this season while making sure to have reoccurring ingredients that don’t break the bank. We decided to focus on five dishes: breakfast, lunch, appetizer, dinner, and dessert.
Molly: I chose the breakfast and lunch dishes.
For breakfast, my husband and I always love making egg scrambles. I started with sautéing the sweet potatoes and onions on medium heat. Once those were cooked to my liking, I added the eggs and a few random seasonings. Choose any that work for your palette, but I always like a cajun style with my eggs. Once those were almost scrambled, I added smoked gouda cheese and stirred until melted. This dish incorporates a lot of protein and complex carbs.
For lunch, I chose beef and beets. This is another go to for my husband and me. We always get our beef from the Fresh Market on Tuesdays at a great price and try to find ways to incorporate it into many meals. Beets are a beautiful vegetable that are low in calorie and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. I sautéed them together on medium heat with some truffle salt and once done, topped with dried rosemary.
Kayla: I chose the appetizer and dinner dishes.
For the appetizer, I chose my family’s Easter classic deviled eggs recipe. It is as follows…
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise or unflavored Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, for garnish
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low (or off) to ensure the water is no longer boiling or has bubbles and use a skimmer to place the eggs in the water. Then increase the heat back to high and set a timer for 12 minutes. While the eggs are boiling prepare an ice water bath and set aside. After 12 minutes, remove the eggs from the water and place in the ice water.
Once the eggs have cooled completely, peel them and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk to a small bowl with a spoon and place the egg whites on a plate. Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayonnaise or yogurt, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir everything together until it's smooth. Use a spoon or a bag to add a portion of the deviled egg mixture back into the hole of each egg white. Sprinkle paprika on top.
This continues the protein train while making it fun and a go to for spring parties.
For dinner, I chose salmon and asparagus. Salmon adds a lot of healthy fat with Omega 3, and asparagus is another low-calorie vegetable that is high in antioxidants. I laid the asparagus on the sides of the baking sheet and put the salmon in between. I topped off the salmon with lemon and rosemary. As always, pick what seasonings work for you. We cooked everything in the oven at 325 F for 23 minutes. If you plan on using this meal, be sure to put everything on top of aluminum foil to make for an extra easy clean up.
Together we picked the dessert. We knew a light, tart, and perfectly smooth lemon bar would compel our mouths to water and thought this dessert would be a fantastic addition to any spring family or friend-oriented event you may have coming up. The lemon bar recipe is listed here, and it does not disappoint!
Pictured below are the dishes we chose followed by the grocery receipt.
All meals were extremely simple to make by only having one or two dishes per meal. Many items were reintroduced, leading to a very inexpensive grocery list for a few days for a family or week if by oneself. There are also many other ways to pair these ingredients outside of what is presented. Last, some items were not included on the shopping list as they are typically food staples such as condiments and seasonings. Please account accordingly.
Molly: I like to have fitness choices that relax me and bring balance to my life. I am always on the go with work and knew I had to pick exercises that took minimal thought and effort to avoid wearing me out further.
My first choice is running. Fun fact, I previously hated running. I believe this was due to the fact that I always saw it as a chore or something on the side of my main goal which used to be soccer. Once I changed this mindset last spring, it gave me a way to escape COVID and focus on what I could control – me. I had only run 5 miles prior to last spring (maybe once?), but I ended up accomplishing a half marathon (13.1 miles). That was insane to think about, but it allowed me to destress and find a new form of fitness that I love. I want to continue to run this spring and would like to accomplish another half marathon, if my schedule permits. Regardless, I will lean on running as a go to exercise and will be happy with any accomplishment. As far as equipment needed, the only thing is a good pair of running shoes which is an average investment of $100, if you don’t already own a solid pair.
To bring more balance, my second choice is yoga. I don’t have much experience with this as I have only taken five beginner classes before, but I am open to learning more about it and how to control my body. I am looking to use this exercise as a way to kick off or end my day in a very peaceful manner. The equipment is minimal since you only need a mat. If desired, you could even practice without one!
Kayla: I’m a creature of habit and tend to get stuck in a rut with exercise. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone this spring which led to barre being my first choice of exercise. Barre is distinguished from other fitness activities by its use of the ballet barre and its incorporation of movements derived from ballet. Enthusiastically, I searched for new ballet slippers, looked up how to build a cost-efficient barre for my office, and found stimulating videos for barre beginners online. One of the coolest things I have found is that barre workouts contribute to weight loss because it breaks down muscle and builds strength within every section of class. It is a great rehabilitative exercise for any fitness level.
On the lookout for a new adventure with yoga, a friend of mine asked me to try aerial yoga with her for her birthday. Wow! What an electrifying and breathtaking way to move. I’m not gonna lie, I enjoyed flipping upside down like a kid on the monkey bars. Aerial yoga is a hybrid type of yoga developed by Michelle Dortignac in 2006 combining traditional yoga poses, pilates, and dance with the use of a hammock. In a typical aerial yoga class, the average person burns about 320 calories. My muscles were sore for a few days after my first experience, but I see it as a really good sign that I used muscles I don’t typically use. Our instructor did a wonderful job of guiding each person through the sequences. Each sequence takes core engagement and balance, but my focus was on accomplishing the poses so I barely noticed the burn. I could not get over how strong and empowered I felt walking out of the studio as I left! Needless to say, I fell in love with aerial yoga that night and am making it a weekly venture.
We want to thank you if you took the time to read through and take any of this blog back to your life. Life can get overwhelming when creating food and fitness to reflect your needs. That’s why we hope we could inspire you to look at your life as a season and see if there were any food or fitness options that you would like to focus on with us during this spring.