Finally the weather is warming up. I am so ready to get back outdoors after a long winter. According to my ayurvedic studies, it’s good to put your feet on the earth every day. This is a challenging task when it’s 30 degrees and there’s snow on the ground.
Melissa Carver, PhD from the Chopra Center says that “Spring is a beautiful reminder for us humans to transform ourselves as well as our home. You may feel energized and more alive than you have in months. This is because our sacred sun has returned to bring new beginnings and balance.”
Gluten-Free Spring Snacking
“We have some new Gold Emblem snacks for spring, many of them are gluten-free” said the PR team at CVS. “Would you like to participate in our CVS Spring Snacking sponsored campaign?”*
“Count me in,” I chimed, as I’m always looking for tasty gluten-free snacks.
Since going on the FODMAP diet, also known as the tummy diet, I’ve tried to stay gluten-free when it comes to my snacks and most of my menu planning. It’s quieted my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
A big box of CVS Gold Emblem gluten-free products arrived on my doorstep last week. I asked my BFF L, who is a registered dietitian, to join me in the taste test. We sampled all the snacks, except for the Beef Jerky. I told my boyfriend L that I’m saving the jerky for him since he likes snacks that are high in protein.
For Those Who Like Savory Snacks
First, we evaluated the gluten-free savory snacks:
♥ Veggie Chips are light and airy, with 30 percent less fat than leading national brand potato chips, and a good crunch. The flavor is very mild.
♥ Jalapeno Cheddar Flavored Quinoa Puffs are more spicy, with adequate burn.
♥ Heavenly Light Popcorn comes in a single-serve bag. If you’re watching your carbs, it’s only 1/2 a carb for the entire bag and not too high in sodium. We thought the popcorn had a nice texture.
♥ Pistachio & Almond Blend was my favorite – since I’m a big snacker of protein-rich nuts. These nuts are unsalted.
For Those Who Like Fruity Snacks
Next, we went for the fruity snacks:
♥ Fuji Apple Crisps are free from artificial preservatives and flavors, with no sugar added. “These crisps are delicious,” said L, “however, they have very little nutrition.”
♥ Banana Crisps are naturally sweet freeze-dried bananas. We liked the fruitiness of these crisps. “The Banana Crisps have more nutrition, since bananas are a more nutritious fruit than apples,” said L.
♥ California Raisins are available in individual-sized packs too. I usually add raisins to my breakfast cereal each morning. Raisins contain iron – which is why my doctor recommended them as a snack when I was an anemic child. According to Livestrong.com, eating raisins daily can help you meet your iron recommended dietary allowance, which is 8 milligrams for women and men over 50.
To complement these fruity snacks, I asked my BFF L to recommend fresh fruits that might be appropriate for the season. L suggested fresh strawberries with a yogurt topping or fresh cherries, which are abundant during April and May.
Get Outdoors and Exercise
Before you do your crunching and munching, be sure to venture outdoors and get some exercise. I enjoy riding my bicycle and walking during the warmer weather. Walking around nature is calming. I like to soak in the sunshine (with sunscreen), look at the colorful flowers and trees, and listen to the sounds of the chirping birds and buzzing bees.
Perhaps it’s time to change up my seated morning meditation with mindful meditation walking. Yoga teacher Adam Brady says that “The practice brings you closer to nature and your body. It also helps strengthen your concentration, makes you more aware, and connects you to the present moment.”
Weeding can prove to be an endless form of exercise as well. Those weeds just never give up. I was out in my tiny backyard today practicing my yoga squats as I plucked some weeds.
What’s your favorite way to exercise in the great outdoors?
*Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS Pharmacy to promote their exclusive Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem abound snack lines. I am sponsored by CVS Pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturer.