Springtime Is the Right Time for a Reset

Make small lifestyle changes. That is all it takes!

Writer: Lisa Kelley. Photographer: August Seleckmann

As I write this, ice is falling from the sky and stacking up on the sidewalks and roads. The trees look like stunningly intricate crystal sculptures layered with a depth that feels like it goes on forever. As much as I appreciate this moment, I have never been more excited for SPRING!
Maybe you feel it, too. Winter on top of 2020 left a wariness that only warm breezes and new growth can wash away.
In anticipation of warm days, outdoor gatherings and life inching back to “normal,” this is a great time to spring clean and air out not only our living spaces, but our bodies.
These days, I am hearing a lot about “COVID-20.” In a year where all bets were off and rules have been rewritten, I think the first thing to go is discipline. Understandably so: we had to allow some indulgences because so many of our simple pleasures have been taken away from us.

So here are some simple things to help with a spring reset.
There are no brilliant revelations here — you have heard these points a thousand times. But I will leave them here because it is an important enough reminder to include or even prioritize your body in your spring clearing.
Oh, and here is the thing: you don’t have to tackle it all at once. I don’t think a full blowup of lifestyle habits ever works; it is too easy to get frustrated and let it all go. Small steps.
Pick one and make it a habit. Small changes can have profound affects and motivate you to keep going. The next thing you know, your body will be thriving, healthy, pain free, and able to live actively and vibrantly.
Eat real food: That means food it its simplest form. And a well-balanced variety of whole grains, protein, veggies and healthy fats is important. Pay attention to what your body is asking for and be prepared. Don’t wait until it’s late in the day and you are starving to make a plan. That’s when it is easy to go off the rails. If going to the market and prepping your meals is overwhelming to think about, perhaps you can consider weekly meal prep or a meal kit subscription. Just be certain it is fresh, balanced and without preservatives.
Stay hydrated: Ideally, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day.
Diet Coke and sweet tea do not count. If you don’t like water or consider it satisfying, try adding lemon, cucumbers, berries or watermelon to a container and fill with water. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Drink it throughout the following day.
Avoid inflammatory foods: Processed foods, added sugars, refined carbs, tobacco, alcohol causes inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can have damaging consequences in the long term. Be mindful of what you are putting in your body. It matters.
Exercise. What a great time of year to go for a walk! We have some great trails locally, but even walking to the mail box or around your neighborhood will do the trick. If you are looking for something organized and for someone to hold you accountable, there are also a few really amazing locally owned fitness studios and gyms. You can paddle board, spin, practice yoga or CrossFit, or try a boot camp workout. Each studio has beginner classes. So, no need to feel intimidated. Start where you are. I know these places and the women who run them — you are always welcome.
And finally, Sleep. Seriously, seven to eight hours of sleep a night gives your body the time to rebuild, reset and just rest. All systems deeply benefit from a good night’s sleep. It is simple; don’t cut it short.
Moments matter. Don’t give any moments away in this life by poor health if you can control it by small lifestyle changes. That is all it takes. •

Lisa Kelley is the founder and owner of The Real Food Studio in Leonardtown, where she makes food that is designed to deliciously nourish your body and is always #madewithlove. She and her husband Michael own Canards Catering and Event Production, a full-service boutique catering firm.