Diane May Nutrition Blog

Spring Cleaning

April 20th, 2015

After a very long cold winter, spring has finally arrived.  Although it is rainy and gloomy today, the sun will be shining again soon. So what can you do when everyone is running around in tank tops and shorts and feeling the sun on their faces and all you want to do is continue to hibernate inside and eat ice cream (including me!)?

  • Start by cleaning out your pantry that might be loaded with unhealthy, processed foods. Pitch all those winter comfort foods you’ve been stashing. Keep that food environment safe. Get to the market and stock up on all that delicious spring produce.
  • Consider joining a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows communities to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers, thus supporting a very important and dying group.  When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. You would pick up a box or bag that contains the most seasonal, fresh produce and it is always a fun surprise what you get.  Be create and try new fruits and vegetables!
  • Learn what is seasonal : Artichokes, arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, carrots, fava beans, garlic, herbs, leeks, greens, onions, herbs, leeks, peas, potatoes, radish, ramps, rhubarb, scallions, and spinach. SO many amazing options to chose from. Look up recipes on sites like epicurious, cooking light and eating well, and start cooking!
  • Put fresh herbs on your windowsill.  Very low maintenance and a great way to add fresh flavor to foods. They will also brighten your kitchen and create a wonderful scent.
  • Reduce consumption of refined sugar and alcohol.  They increase feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Increase consumption of foods high in Omega 3’s-oily fish such as salmon, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Aim for 2 grams a day. They have been shown to boost mood. Just remember to eat in moderation as they are calorically dense.
  • Consume tryptophan, (needed to produce serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood) an important amino acid that the body cannot produce on its own.  Good sources include: poultry, beef, eggs and nuts. 320 mg is recommended a day (4 ounces of chicken for example).
  • Eat those greens.  Popeye was right, they make you strong and improve your health dramatically from the inside out. They are loaded with fiber, folate, carotenoids, vitamins K, C and calcium.  They are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to slow the growth of certain cancers.
  • Get outside and move your body. Take a walk and look at the blooming flowers.  Exercise not only helps our waistline and our health, but it is very powerful way to improve our mood. If you are sedentary, always get clearance from your physician before you start an exercise plan.
  • Enlist a friend or group to bring you out of that winter hibernation. Sometimes we need a little extra boost of support to motivate us and get out of an unhealthy rut.
  • Try and get 15 minutes of natural sunlight every day.  Just remember to always use a high spectrum sunscreen. If vitamin D levels are still low, consider supplementation.
  • Spring is the perfect time to shake out those mental cobwebs and start to get healthy.  It can be hard when you might be feeling blue when the sun is shining and everyone around you is happy. Take baby steps and know that if you need it, reach out for support.  Whether it is a friend, family member, support group or medical professional, there is no shame in getting help when you need it.  Be kind to yourself and by making small, little improvements towards better health, a positive outlook will follow.

Rhubarb-Raspberry Crumble

From EatingWell:  March/April 2015

spring cleaning 


Makes: 10 servings

Serving Size: about 2/3 cups

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours



  • 8 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2 inch; about 2 pounds), fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour (or use 1 cup all-purpose flour total)
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • (1 stick), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare filling: Combine rhubarb, raspberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in the prepared baking dish. Let stand while you make the topping.
  3. To prepare topping: Combine all-purpose flour, rye flour (if using), brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Pinch butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it is pea-sized. Squeeze a handful of dough firmly in your palm, then crumble it coarsely over the rhubarb mixture. Continue with the rest of the mixture until the fruit is evenly covered. Sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Per serving: 281 calories; 14 g fat (6 g sat, 5 g mono); 24 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrates; 21 g added sugars; 24 g total sugars; 3 g protein; 4 g fiber; 173 mg sodium; 372 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (21% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2