Spring is here, so you can pack away those heavy winter meals and enjoy the flavors of the season. As an athlete and nutritionist, I prefer my springtime diet to include nutritious, easy-to-prepare, delicious meals. Here are my top three secret weapons for packing clean, powerful nutrients into my diet:
1. Vegan Pizza
Who doesn’t love pizza? It tastes delicious and it’s fun to make. Best of all, this is the type of pizza you can eat every day, guilt-free.
Here’s how: find a vegan-friendly dough and load it up with every single vegetable you can find. Anything goes. Make sure you experiment with unusual toppings like squash and dulse (seaweed) flakes. Be adventurous! It’s incredibly difficult to screw up pizza. My favorite toppings include:
– Vegan sauce base
– Dulse (seaweed)
– Olive oil
– Black olives
– Sunflower seeds
– Green peppers
– Red peppers
– Habanero peppers
– Bean sprouts
– Grated squash
PRO TIP: Put the tomatoes and avocados on raw after the pizza comes out of the oven. This gives the pizza a pleasing, cool texture.
2. Soup and Stew
I love throwing a bunch of random vegetables into my slow cooker and letting it do its magic overnight. I love having these stews for breakfast because they’re so warming and comforting. I use a vegan broth, and load up the slow cooker with ingredients such as:
– Brussel sprouts
– Sweet potato
– Mung beans
– Various spices
PRO TIP: I love the taste of lime juice, so I always add some to my soups. Lemon or lime juice is a powerhouse of both taste and nutrition. It’s low in calories, full of immune-boosting antioxidants and vitamin C, and gives soups and stews a lighter, springtime flavor.
I love experimenting with smoothies, because I can add pretty much anything and it tastes great.Here are some of the ingredients I’ve tried:
– Pomegranate juice
– Almond or coconut milk
PRO TIP: I always add some type of healthy fat (such as Udo’s oil, an avocado, or chia seeds) to my smoothies. Omega-3s are very easy to miss in our daily diets, but so important for overall wellness.
Overall, do not be limited by conventional nutrition. Have dinner for breakfast. Taste weird foods. Never snub new things because of how they look or sound. Don’t be afraid to experiment. These meals provide a great opportunity for experimentation and added nutrition. So go ahead and try some seaweed on your pizza. Whether you’re vegan, paleo, or just love food—eat something new today. You might love it.
Jake Maulin is a Senior Master Instructor at CycleBar. Jake loves a good time, and believes that everything we do in a class has great purpose. The music, choreography, lights, voice, and message all invoke motivational emotions that drive riders to the next level.