YOU can certainly feel that spring is in the air with warm days and cool nights, thankfully the coldest part of the year is behind us.
I am so much happier when the sun is shining and before we know it we will be getting ready to go to the beach and Christmas will be on our door step.
With winter behind us it is time to do a bit of a spring clean not only of our house but also in the pantry and fridge.
Did you find that the colder months caused you to go off track and eat way too much stodgy food?
If so then you may need to do a spring clean of our mindset and shift your focus onto slimming down for summer.
A good way to see if winter has caused you any problems is to either weigh yourself or put on your favourite summer outfit from last year and see how it fits.
Facing reality now before summer hits is a great way to avoid having nothing that fits you.
Here are some ways to get you started on springing back to good health now:
1. As I said before clean out your pantry and fridge of all foods that are not helping you to be the healthy person you want to be.
2. Instead of stodgy stews think about grilled meat or fish. Light the barbeque for some lean cooking as grilling over an open flame helps allow the fat to escape and is so much healthier.
3. Enjoy the spring seasonal fruits available in September such as Lady William apples, strawberries, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, melons, blood or Seville oranges, as well as papaya, pawpaw and pineapples will be really sweet.
4. Vegetables that are at their peak in September are artichokes, Asian greens, asparagus, green beans, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, silverbeet and spinach.
5. By including lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables into your daily eating regime will add loads of vitamins and minerals. Both are low in fat and calories and best of all increase your fibre intake.
6. Try having more fish meals instead of meat. Fish is loaded with omega 3's and low in fat so with the warmer weather here you can enjoy fresh fish with tasty sauces or marinate in some garlic and lemon before pan frying in a little low fat margarine.
7. If you have been a bit slack with your water intake over winter then now is the perfect time to get back to the routine of having eight glasses of water a day.
Starting now means you will be ready for summer so spring into action NOW!
Lemon Meringue Pie
* Recipe from Symply Too Good To Be True - Book 2
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon (15g) Flora Light® margarine
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 egg white
flour to roll pastry
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
5 level tablespoons custard powder
½ cup evaporated light milk
3 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar
Preheat oven 180°C fan forced.
To make pastry
In a medium size mixing bowl combine flour and sugar.
Melt margarine and add to milk, using a fork beat egg white into milk mixture until combined.
Pour into flour and fold together. Place pastry on a well-floured surface and roll out to fit shape of round pie dish (23cm) that has been coated with cooking spray.
Roll up pastry using a rolling pin, lift into pie plate.
Trim around edges and bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
To make filling
In a medium size saucepan heat all ingredients except milk.
Using a whisk, blend ingredients together until mixture comes to the boil, whisk in milk. Leave to cool.
To make meringue
In a medium size mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gradually add in sugar beating well each time until all sugar has been used.
To assemble pie
Spread lemon filling evenly over prepared pastry base.
Spoon meringue mixture on top of filling, spreading to the edge of pie, make peaks with flat of spoon.
Bake10-15 minutes or until meringue is browned.
Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies or visit Annette's website www.symplytoogood.com.au for more recipes, tips and to check out her new 'Symply Slim & Healthy Mentoring Program'.