A Seasonal Guide to Fresh Fruits and Veggies

In winter, spring, summer and fall irresistible flavors, colors and textures leap out at us in the produce aisle, in our gardens or in a delivered box from memberships at the local farm. This is a four season guide for nurses and therapists who prioritize eating healthfully as part of a harmonious work-life balance.

Winter: RNs who love to cook have much to relish in these winter months. Fragrant oranges, savory Brussels sprouts, leeks and sweet potatoes are just a few of the things to pile into your grocery carts! We can also look forward to crispy turnips, ruby red pomegranates, collards and kale—not to mention nuts that strengthen our bodies with omega-3 fats. Get your nut cracker out and enjoy the “no cooking required” nature of nuts.

Spring: How quickly the ground thaws depends on where your travel nursing career is—but look outside your window and you can see green things growing everywhere. Here are some of spring’s best bets: honeydew melons, artichokes nestled in your red leaf lettuce, juicy pineapples, green beans and mangoes—not to mention the limes that zest up your chicken recipes or fill your Key lime pies. The flavors of this season are healthful and natural alternatives to flavoring your dishes with sugar and salt. The fruits mentioned here are best fresh, but effective too, as frozen, canned or dried fruit snacks.

Summer: Get out the backyard grill and load it up with golden ears of corn. Instead of butter and salt, rub the corn in a little bit of olive oil dusted with curry—it’s delicious! Get your exercise on days off from travel nursing picking strawberries in the South or blueberries in the north! Your salads are going to rock this season with the addition of in-season bell peppers, beets and radishes. Busy RNs can do indoor container gardening and try radishes as a first crop; they go from seed to harvest in about 45 days!

Fall: Who doesn’t love those autumn colors—not just falling from the trees, but gracing our plates? This fall, travel nurses will enjoy apple picking, pumpkins and acorn squash, as well as a cornucopia of other fruits and veggies, like Swiss chard and jalapeno peppers.

You don’t have to be a health nut to live healthfully…

Or to appreciate what MyPlate.gov is saying about fruits and veggies. Ideally, every American should eat five servings of each, daily, by making an effort to fill at least 50% of the plate with fruits and vegetables. Get more healthy recipes and skinny dining tips for every season at fruitandveggiesmatter.org. Have a fruitful year, everyone!

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